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Is Sun and Moon's genre the right one for Pokemon?

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It has been said that Sun and Moon is a "Slice of Life" type of show, but is that really a good genre for Pokemon? I mean, the last season had concepts like Mega Evolution, Bond phenomenon and Pokemon having energy that could possibly do anything. The previous seasons before that one had pretty grand and fantastical aspects as well. So, with that in mind, is really wise to do a season with mostly 'down to earth' concepts and problems? I mean, the character development might be all well and good and all, but so far, i think that that has come at the expense of exciting battles and chances for Ash's Team to grow in size and even evolution. If the issues he faces are mostly just down to earth and are only rarely that serious, when will Ash need to, or even have time to, catch more pokemon or evolve the ones he already has (by which i mean, train them to the point where they could evolve and get into a situation where such an evolution would be quite the game changer)?

Just some food for thought.
 
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It has been said that Sun and Moon is a "Slice of Life" type of show, but is that really a good genre for Pokemon? I mean, the last season had concepts like Mega Evolution, Bond phenomenon and Pokemon having energy that could possibly do anything. The previous seasons before that one had pretty grand and fantastical aspects as well. So, with that in mind, is really wise to do a season with mostly 'down to earth' concepts and problems? I mean, the character development might be all well and good and all, but so far, i think that that has come at the expense of exciting battles and chances for Ash's Team to grow in size and even evolution. If the issues he faces are mostly just down to earth and are only rarely that serious, when will Ash need to, or even have time to, catch more pokemon or evolve the ones he already has (by which i mean, train them to the point where they could evolve and get into a situation where such an evolution would be quite the game changer)?

Just some food for thought.
A "Slice of Life" type show does fit well with Pokémon. Especially if it's aimed for kids. Kids love the Pokémon and they want to see them in the spotlight. Not simply in battles, but also in daily life. That's one of the few things Kanto has done before they start shifting into the more serious story arcs in later series.

It's not the genre itself that's the problem though. It's whether or not the character Ash is suitable to a "Slice of Life" style show after being in the formula of battle tournaments and badge quests. That's why most of the complaints I've noticed with Sun & Moon tend to revolve most on Ash. Such as the debate on whether or not there should be more or less school time for Ash. Or if Ash is a good or bad character. Or does the artwork style compliment or hinder Ash.

I believe that if a new main protagonist was there instead of Ash, we wouldn't have this debate.
 
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Sun and Moon isn't just slice of life. It has those "fantastical" elements as well, like Z-Moves and Tapu Koko doing things in the background. It's more methodically paced so far but they can quite easily kick start a heavy adventure/action portion of the show if need be. Baring in mind that past seasons took a good couple of years before they really hit the serious stuff.

In any case, slice of life is a good genre for Sun and Moon. Sun and Moon places more emphasis on Pokemon as a part of nature and how they and humans co-exist in nature. By showing us more of the normal, everyday world the Pokemon feel a stronger part of that world rather than ending up accessories to it. As a result of that, there have been fewer Pokemon of the week episodes and for me that's a good thing. Ash and co. don't just stumble upon a random Pokemon on the road, but find them in environments where it makes sense they would appear.

I mean, the character development might be all well and good and all, but so far, i think that that has come at the expense of exciting battles and chances for Ash's Team to grow in size and even evolution.
The show is only 14 episodes in, so Ash's team wouldn't have grown much. That he has two Pokemon that can use Z-Moves surely compensates for anything, though.

On a personal note, if less battles means more opportunities for characters to be entertaining then I'm totally okay with it.

It's whether or not the character Ash is suitable to a "Slice of Life" style show after being in the formula of battle tournaments and badge quests.
This is an odd point, seeing as slice of life has been a genre in every single season. For that matter, there's no such thing as a character "suitable" for a genre.
 
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This is an odd point, seeing as slice of life has been a genre in every single season. For that matter, there's no such thing as a character "suitable" for a genre.
By that definition, every filler episode of any show is a slice of life genre. But the reason Sun and Moon gets the label is because the premise is so different compare to other series. Namely that Ash is staying in one general location and has a vague goal with an unknowable quantity of crystals. In other words, the Slice of Life is notably dominant. Sure there were Slice of Life episodes in Pokémon (particularly the original series), but there was also an underlying defined goal for Ash (Collect 8 Badges and compete in the Tournament) and the group keeps on moving from one place to other another, creating the illusion of progress. Akin to say One Piece or Dragon Ball. The Slice of Life episodes were essentially filler.

As for "no such thing as a character 'suitable' for a genre," I don't buy that. Some characters are not suitable for a particular genre without twisting their characters beyond recognition. Red (Pocket Monsters), for example, would not work well if his story had a serious tone like Pokémon Adventures rather than the weird gag comics it's known for. And vice versa. That's why there's a debate about Ash being in Sun and Moon. People are still arguing if this something that Ash would do and how much of Ash's personality can we depend on.
 
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By that definition, every filler episode of any show is a slice of life genre.
I'm not sure what you mean here. I don't know about any other show, but all I said was that Pokemon has a history of slice of life episodes well before Sun and Moon was even conceived. Doesn't matter if they're considered filler or not.

Sure there were Slice of Life episodes in Pokémon (particularly the original series), but there was also an underlying defined goal for Ash (Collect 8 Badges and compete in the Tournament) and the group keeps on moving from one place to other another, creating the illusion of progress. Akin to say One Piece or Dragon Ball. The Slice of Life episodes were essentially filler.
It's strange to say that Ash isn't "suitable" for slice of life but then admit that he's been in slice of life episodes before. I'm not sure how having an underlying goal changes that fact.

As for "no such thing as a character 'suitable' for a genre," I don't buy that. Some characters are not suitable for a particular genre without twisting their characters beyond recognition. Red (Pocket Monsters), for example, would not work well if his story had a serious tone like Pokémon Adventures rather than the weird gag comics it's known for. And vice versa. That's why there's a debate about Ash being in Sun and Moon. People are still arguing if this something that Ash would do and how much of Ash's personality can we depend on.
If characters are being twisted beyond recognition to fit a genre, that's poor writing.

Every character archetype can, in theory, work within any genre. There are certain personality traits that are shared amongst characters within genres (e.g. shonen heroes tend to be hot-blooded, romance heroes tend to be dense, etc.) but which sort of character you use isn't dependent on the genre of the story, but on the story you want to tell. The genre only defines what type of situations your character will be in and what traits will be brought out more.

For example, we have Ash who is hot-blooded, impulsive, likes to battle, is enthusiastic and positive and single-minded. In an action setting, those traits will be emphasised. In a slice of life setting, they're downplayed at the expense of other parts of his character or used in a different way. Ash's impulsiveness, for example, means he takes on chores he can't do. His singular focus on Pokemon means he has no other talents, therefore he screws up those simple chores. Ash's personality doesn't change. It's not been twisted in any way. We're just seeing it in a different light than before.

There's nothing overtly OOC for Ash here, either. Ash is still the same person. What's different is the setting and scenario he's been placed in.
 
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In regards to Ash's team, it's been only fourteen episodes. He normally doesn't have a lot of Pokemon on his team by that point and rarely do any of them evolve that early on in the series/journey. Plus, with how many characters they have this time around, they might want to take it slow with introducing new Pokemon. After all, that's basically adding another character to the cast, which might be one reason Ash's friends just have one Pokemon on them right now. We'll still get battles. The Island Trials and Grand Trails are still battles and I'm positive that they'll eventually bring up the Pokemon League being created in Alola at some point in the anime. I don't think that the laid back tone really prevents them from throwing in more battles. The complaints about the slice of life genre is a bit odd when they've always Pokemon mixed in with slice of life kind of concepts for various episodes.
 
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I'm not sure what you mean here. I don't know about any other show, but all I said was that Pokemon has a history of slice of life episodes well before Sun and Moon was even conceived. Doesn't matter if they're considered filler or not.
What I mean by that is that slice of life episodes tend to be filler episodes to buy the time before the main storyline moves on. They simply give the time for the audience to breath.


It's strange to say that Ash isn't "suitable" for slice of life but then admit that he's been in slice of life episodes before. I'm not sure how having an underlying goal changes that fact.
Being in a Slice of Life episode does not make a character completely suitable for a Slice of Life TV show. Ash has been in slice of life episodes before but at the same time, he's also been in an ongoing storyline that involves traveling and collecting a certain number of gym badges and Pokémon. There was a story to follow in spite of the numerous slice of life episodes. The problem with Sun and Moon is that the storyline is rather vague. What does Ash get after he masters all the Z-crystals? What would he learn in school? In pervious series, you know where's Ash's destination would be by the end of the series (League tournaments/Battle Frontier) from the start. You had a reason to keep an eye out for future episodes. Without that underlying goal, SM essentially becomes mostly a Slice of Life show with some story arcs that may or may not play out.

If characters are being twisted beyond recognition to fit a genre, that's poor writing.

Every character archetype can, in theory, work within any genre. There are certain personality traits that are shared amongst characters within genres (e.g. shonen heroes tend to be hot-blooded, romance heroes tend to be dense, etc.) but which sort of character you use isn't dependent on the genre of the story, but on the story you want to tell. The genre only defines what type of situations your character will be in and what traits will be brought out more.

For example, we have Ash who is hot-blooded, impulsive, likes to battle, is enthusiastic and positive and single-minded. In an action setting, those traits will be emphasised. In a slice of life setting, they're downplayed at the expense of other parts of his character or used in a different way. Ash's impulsiveness, for example, means he takes on chores he can't do. His singular focus on Pokemon means he has no other talents, therefore he screws up those simple chores. Ash's personality doesn't change. It's not been twisted in any way. We're just seeing it in a different light than before.

There's nothing overtly OOC for Ash here, either. Ash is still the same person. What's different is the setting and scenario he's been placed in.
I was merely pointing out on why there was even debate about whether or not the Slice of Life genre is good for Ash. A sudden change in the show's status quo is bound for controversy as we have seen in Black and White. Because Ash's usual goal has been the same for 19 years, changing it from Badge Quest to School Life is going to lead into question about its effect on Ash. Just like BW Team Rocket.

And although every character archetype can work in any genre in theory, there are limits that creators would be wary to cross. Especially if it's stated to be the same character. Adam West Batman and Christian Bale Batman are essentially the same character archetype, but it would be unwise to make the West's Batman be placed in a dark and gritty genre, and the Bale's Batman in a goofy and campy genre (save for non-canon parody).
 
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I personally think, no.

Slice-of-Life is a format that I feel causes little-to-no character development, and seems to only exist to please young kids who have short attention spans. I remember watching a few episodes of Yo-Kai Watch, which I did because I wanted to understand why it was posing such a threat to Pokemon in the anime market, and I personally didn't enjoy it.

The Pokemon Sun & Moon anime seems to have been heavily influenced by Yo-Kai Watch, not just with the focus on slice-of-life and slapstick, but the school setting and the more lighthearted art style. This video pretty much sums up most of my thoughts, because Ash suddenly changing from a badge quest to a school quest definitely screams an attempt to copy Yo-Kai all in an attempt to try and win the Japanese child audience back.

With this format, I feel SM was intended to be a reboot but they were ordered to keep Ash at the last minute. Had this series had a new protagonist instead, I would have accepted it.
 
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Slice-of-Life is a format that I feel causes little-to-no character development, and seems to only exist to please young kids who have short attention spans. I remember watching a few episodes of Yo-Kai Watch, which I did because I wanted to understand why it was posing such a threat to Pokemon in the anime market, and I personally didn't enjoy it.
I think you misunderstood these genres. Slice-of-life shows known for interactions between characters and strong characterization. Yokai Watch is a mostly comedy based show with some shounen sports anime traits.
 
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A "Slice of Life" type show does fit well with Pokémon. Especially if it's aimed for kids. Kids love the Pokémon and they want to see them in the spotlight. Not simply in battles, but also in daily life. That's one of the few things Kanto has done before they start shifting into the more serious story arcs in later series.

It's not the genre itself that's the problem though. It's whether or not the character Ash is suitable to a "Slice of Life" style show after being in the formula of battle tournaments and badge quests. That's why most of the complaints I've noticed with Sun & Moon tend to revolve most on Ash. Such as the debate on whether or not there should be more or less school time for Ash. Or if Ash is a good or bad character. Or does the artwork style compliment or hinder Ash.

I believe that if a new main protagonist was there instead of Ash, we wouldn't have this debate.
IMO the biggest problem isn't with Ash, it's with the rest of the cast. They just aren't getting enough screentime outside of focus episodes, it's making them feel more like side characters than main characters. I'm sure it's partly due to having more characters, but not entirely - with XY's first gym battle, Ash was able to win with the help of his friends, which was great for getting to know the new cast. Contrast that with the Hala battle - none of Ash's friends were even present. He gives them credit for his victory, but we don't get to actually see how they helped. They just aren't involved enough, and thus we're getting less character interaction than we should.

It just seems to me like they aren't really sure how to handle the format shakeup yet. I still like the show enough to watch it and I'm hoping it's going to improve, but right now it feels filler-y IMO.

I think I'd still have the same complaints about SM if it starred someone other than Ash. Well, unless they had brought back Dawn as the star. :LOL:
 
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IMO the biggest problem isn't with Ash, it's with the rest of the cast. They just aren't getting enough screentime outside of focus episodes, it's making them feel more like side characters than main characters. I'm sure it's partly due to having more characters, but not entirely - with XY's first gym battle, Ash was able to win with the help of his friends, which was great for getting to know the new cast. Contrast that with the Hala battle - none of Ash's friends were even present. He gives them credit for his victory, but we don't get to actually see how they helped. They just aren't involved enough, and thus we're getting less character interaction than we should.

It just seems to me like they aren't really sure how to handle the format shakeup yet. I still like the show enough to watch it and I'm hoping it's going to improve, but right now it feels filler-y IMO.

I think I'd still have the same complaints about SM if it starred someone other than Ash. Well, unless they had brought back Dawn as the star. :LOL:
I get that argument. When you have a giant class cast like Sun and Moon, you can't give equal focus to all of them. However, a new main character would signal the writers to be more courageous as to who the main core cast should be and who the side characters are.

Parts of me wonder if the writers are afraid of giving Ash a deeper bond with his friends because of the demands of the fans wanting to keep Serena and the producers wanting character cycle imposed on Ash.
 
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Ash didn't have a deep bond with Serena, though. She was just there as far as he was concerned.

At least in SM's character-centric episodes, you see Ash take an interest in his classmates' lives.
 
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I personally think, no.

Slice-of-Life is a format that I feel causes little-to-no character development, and seems to only exist to please young kids who have short attention spans. I remember watching a few episodes of Yo-Kai Watch, which I did because I wanted to understand why it was posing such a threat to Pokemon in the anime market, and I personally didn't enjoy it.

The Pokemon Sun & Moon anime seems to have been heavily influenced by Yo-Kai Watch, not just with the focus on slice-of-life and slapstick, but the school setting and the more lighthearted art style. This video pretty much sums up most of my thoughts, because Ash suddenly changing from a badge quest to a school quest definitely screams an attempt to copy Yo-Kai all in an attempt to try and win the Japanese child audience back.

With this format, I feel SM was intended to be a reboot but they were ordered to keep Ash at the last minute. Had this series had a new protagonist instead, I would have accepted it.
Is the series really about a school quest though? I haven't seen SM past the first two episodes, but I was under the impression that the school is just the setting rather than the goal. Sure, the promotional material talked about Ash going to school and graduation, but the opening narration for the intro is Ash introducing himself, Pikachu, that he wants to become a Pokemon Master and that he wants to capture Pokemon. The school is not that central to the point where the school is the main quest now. I thought that people were complaining that they weren't even doing enough with the school setting awhile ago, despite complaining about how the series could become a school slice of life series before the series started. Besides all that, the goal now isn't about the school, but the Island Trials. That is Ash's main goal in SM, not whether or not he can graduate from the Pokemon school.

I've heard people complain a lot about how Pokemon SM, as well as Sun/Moon for that matter, are trying to copy Yo-Kai Watch, but I honestly don't really see it. It might make a bit more sense in regards to the games, as I haven't played any of the Yo-Kai Watch games, but I have seen a bit of the Yo-Kai Watch anime. I couldn't even last through a whole episode, but it does feel a lot more comedy based than SM does and marketed towards an even younger audience with its comedy. One could say that they wanted to make SM more light-hearted/comedic because of Yo-Kai Watch and that could be a factor, but I still have my doubts on that given that Pokemon has been light-hearted/comedic before Yo-Kai Watch existed and the laid back tone of the series kind of fits with the Alola region in general too.

As for SM intended to be a reboot, I really doubt that was the case. There's no indication that they had to keep Ash in the last minute. At least with BW, I could almost understand that kind of reasoning because of Ash's regression of skills, but he still seems pretty competent in SM. Not to mention they wouldn't have replaced Ash for the 20th anniversary, or at all for that matter. I'm pretty sure that the creative staff can't replaced Ash. Even if they wanted to, they most likely are forced to keep him around for marketing reasons.
 
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I watched quite a few episodes of Yo-Kai Watch, and a play-though of the 3rd game on youtube, and I can see where the complaints are coming from (Compare Rotom-Dex to Whisper for example), but I don't think that rivalry is the only factor.

If anything I think that bar Lillie's storyline (If she had a pokemon besides Nebby in the games then she did a better job keeping it out of sight than Nebby) it plays out as a pseudo prequel to the games. The rest of Ash and Lillie's group are implied to not be trial captains yet, Mallow's pokemon is unevoled (She had a Steenee in the games and the end credits would make that apparently no matter the version) and we have not seen a Cosmog yet. Thus it would stand to reason that this is set before Lana, Mallow, Kiawe and Sophicles become captains and thus before the Pokemon league in Alola is established.

This means that While Ash might have some focus on the trials, he might not have much reason to train outside of that, as there is no Elite 4 to face, no championship to claim, and no rival so far (and no, Noa seems too nice and too much of a one shot character to count at least for the time being). Thus Ash has little to strive for in Alola. And would it not make sense for him to relax a little because of that (especially after Kalos)?

Then of course there is the anime's slow pacing compared to the games, even without all the streamlining and hand holding you could get to the elite four in a matter of days (though I suppose scale plays a part in that, and other adaptations are just as slow if not slower. PokéSpe's BW2 chapter is still ongoing for example)

Lastly the writers might just want to try something different, whether it'd be coping YKW or not I don't think anyone can handle the same ol' formula for 20 whole years (Which might be why other franchises, Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh especially, change cast and setting for new series). Its not impossible that they want to shake things up (especially after again, Kalos. I doubt most of the writers were pleased about having to shaft Ash again.)

On a side note, the rest of the series is just as episodic as your average slice of life show. DP was the worse in this regard, but the other series bar maybe XYZ was permeated with slow pacing and episodes that contributed little to plot development.
 
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@Hidden Mew S/M definitely feels like a reboot to me.

I can see the focus is now shifting to the Island Trials, the main problem that I see is the unpredictability of how it'll progress. I'm also not into the idea that Ash's companions this time around are taking a backseat, because it'll mean they'll be underdeveloped. I am someone who is never into drastic changes, which might explain my mixed feelings about SM but we'll see how it goes.
 
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@Hidden Mew S/M definitely feels like a reboot to me.

I can see the focus is now shifting to the Island Trials, the main problem that I see is the unpredictability of how it'll progress. I'm also not into the idea that Ash's companions this time around are taking a backseat, because it'll mean they'll be underdeveloped. I am someone who is never into drastic changes, which might explain my mixed feelings about SM but we'll see how it goes.
There's a difference between a show feeling like a reboot and a show actually being a reboot though. People said the same thing about BW and while that isn't my favorite series, it was still set within the same continuity as the previous series. The same goes for SM when we did get some pretty clear indication within just the first episode that this was still set within the same continuity. At most, it's a soft reboot, but even that I'm not sure about when Ash's skills haven't regressed like they did in BW.

As for the Island Trials, I can see what you mean about the unpredictability. It doesn't help that they have a lot more characters to work with now and I'm not sure how they'll deal with the other trials either for various reasons. I can understand not being into drastic changes. That can make me feel uneasy too, but I'm generally hopeful about SM based on what little I've seen and the general positive reception it seems to have gotten after starting. At the very least, I don't see nearly as much hate for it as I was worried about before, so that's nice.
 
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I get that argument. When you have a giant class cast like Sun and Moon, you can't give equal focus to all of them. However, a new main character would signal the writers to be more courageous as to who the main core cast should be and who the side characters are.
I think Lilie is the only main character beside Satoshi, rest are just side characters. Even opening is implying this. I think there will be some big changes to the cast and we'll see much more focus on Lilie.
I haven't seen SM past the first two episodes
Why is that?

Ash didn't have a deep bond with Serena, though. She was just there as far as he was concerned.
I'm not sure where this is coming from. Didn't he said that he won two gyms thanks to her? Didn't he asked her to join the group? Didn't he show interest in Serena's goal and her knowledge about Sihorn?
At least in SM's character-centric episodes, you see Ash take an interest in his classmates' lives.
How so?

Suiren: Seen her on the beach and did not show any interest in her, then accompanied her to get a rod for himself.
Mamane: Meet on the mall, accompanied him to get ice cream and then accidentally trapped with him.
Lilie: Accompanied her and the egg in Mao's place, then tried to help her.
Kaki: Accompanied him to get ice cream and battling/training with him, then helped his family to show his gratitude.
Mao: Literally pulled by Mao to help her to spy on Lilie and Shiron.

None of these are more than what he shown on Serena.
 
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Because I'm waiting for the dub to air. I could watch the Japanese version along with the dub, but I still like watching new episodes in English after all these years. I'm sentimental and old fashioned like that.
It must be hard to wait.
 
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