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Preview Pocket Monsters the series (2019)

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As for why they're doing this as opposed to just having the series set in Galar, it's hard to say. Right now, it mainly comes off as an attempt to make the series more distinct and unique right off the bat. I doubt that this has anything to do with the fan backlash considering that this series was most likely in development well before fans complained about the games. Considering we don't know too much about the storyline of the anime or how much they'll cover for Galar, it's also too early to say that they just gave up telling a story or adapting the games. The latter is especially strange to me considering the anime has always prioritize telling its own story as opposed to being a faithful adaptation of the games.
There are two factors I can think of:
*A general desire to branch out. They did six (seven, if you count the Orange Islands) badge quests in a row over about twenty years. Sun/Moon did something different and it's easy to imagine wanting to keep trying new things instead of going back to a badge quest.
*Pokémon has recently had some major successes outside the mainline games or the anime. There were spinoff games beforehand, but Go was a big success that got the series in the mainstream news again, and there was also the very successful Detective Pikachu movie recently. So the new name and focus could be part of a desire to focus the anime on advertising the brand in general rather than the most recent games in particular.
 
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Just to clarify, whilst 小 & 春 do mean "small" and "Spring" individually, when they come together to form the compound Kanji of Koharu/小春 it instead becomes "Late Autumn".
Yes, but judging by the character's cherry blossom theme, it makes more sense that her name references spring, instead of autumn.
 
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Go is definitely being adapted here to some extent (a main character being named after the game, his goal being inspired by it, and PokeStops appearing in the research center), so I don't see why Masters receiving somewhat similar treatment is unthinkable. All it would mean is giving screentime to old gym leaders and maybe other old characters, which is what you'd expect from this kind of series, anyway. The game had definitely been at least halfway through development by the time they started working on this series, and it makes more sense to promote something relatively new that could use the buzz than a game that has been doing well for over 3 years.

Why the thought of an AU doesn't bother me:

  1. Realistically, Ash winning against Kukui is about as far as he could ever go with a regional team.
  2. I don't see him using a team of reserves after 9 years it hasn't come close to happening. Even if he did, it would be a fraction of the total roster.
  3. The idea of Ash traveling in old regions without his old Pokemon or companions isn't appealing. It wasn't fun in the Battle Frontier.
  4. He has a much better reason to challenge old gym leaders in an AU. Could he challenge the Elite Four instead? Not before the very end, so it wouldn't have much to do with the actual journey.
  5. The original Ash could still appear in movies and maybe the plot would actually be relevant to his story.
  6. I'd rather that Go and Ash be on an equal footing as advertised, rather than having to pretend that they are. If Ash's profile doesn't mention his being the Alola Champion, it might as well not be a fact anymore.
I agree that Masters will probably be represented to some degree. You kind of have to think of it the other way around. Development for the new series started before Masters, so Masters was probably shaped partially by how they were expecting the anime to turn out. You can see the parallel of having both Masters and the new series seemingly celebrate the entire franchise; Masters with older characters and PM with older regions (and probably characters). Masters might even advertise the anime as much as the anime advertises it.

Honestly, I like what I've been seeing. If this is an AU, I think it will still be great based on the art and characters they've shown. I'm definitely still leaning on a continuation due to the amount of evidence, but I'm not as terrified of a potential reboot as I was before. That said, I'll respond to your six points:

  1. Exactly, that's why taking his battles to an international scale using his full team of Pokemon is the logical next step. It's not like we're pulling this out of thin air, the new series promises the globe trotting. You just have to put 2 and 2 together. A better question is why would a rebooted Ash travel to regions at such a fast pace? Is he getting badges that fast? The whole point of a reboot would be to nerf Ash, so I don't think he would be so skilled in that case.
  2. His full team of reserves has been shown as recently as 2013, and his Kanto reserves appeared in SM. In contrast, Pokemon he used at the end of Jhoto (2002) were featured after 8 years in the Sinnoh League (2010). Even with rotation though, I'm sure some of them would get the short end of the stick.
  3. It's still entirely possible if not likely that old companions will return in their respective regions. Even Misty returned in BF for a while. I think Battle Frontier's biggest failing is not showing off the Kanto Region enough, but from what I've seen this new series won't have that problem.
  4. No one wants to see Ash battle all the Gyms again. If they were going to do a badge quest, they might as well have just situated the series in Galar. And if he's facing the Elite Four, it would make sense for it to be current Ash, someone who as already proven their strength and beaten a league. Current Ash could travel to each region and fight the Elite Four right off the bat, giving us something different than just gym battles.
  5. I had that thought too, but I think it would be too confusing to a younger audience to have two simultaneous running timelines of the same character. And if they were going that route, why switch them? I thought M20/M21 were great.
  6. I don't really know if they have been advertised to be on equal footing. If this is a continuation, then I'm sure his title will have a heavy impact on the story, unlike BF which was swept under the rug. Even so, Ash doesn't have a big ego so it's in his character if he doesn't bring it up every ten seconds.

Also am I remembering wrong, or did Cynthia state that you needed to beat a league in your "home region" before you can challenge the Elite Four of another. I always thought that was weird, but it's likely just a mistranslation. This could potentially tie into the theory of Ash returning to Kanto to challenge the Indigo League though.
 
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I don't see any black cats around here, so I don't think so.
Does Litten on the poster count?

I agree that Masters will probably be represented to some degree. You kind of have to think of it the other way around. Development for the new series started before Masters, so Masters was probably shaped partially by how they were expecting the anime to turn out. You can see the parallel of having both Masters and the new series seemingly celebrate the entire franchise; Masters with older characters and PM with older regions (and probably characters). Masters might even advertise the anime as much as the anime advertises it.

Honestly, I like what I've been seeing. If this is an AU, I think it will still be great based on the art and characters they've shown. I'm definitely still leaning on a continuation due to the amount of evidence, but I'm not as terrified of a potential reboot as I was before. That said, I'll respond to your six points:

  1. Exactly, that's why taking his battles to an international scale using his full team of Pokemon is the logical next step. It's not like we're pulling this out of thin air, the new series promises the globe trotting. You just have to put 2 and 2 together. A better question is why would a rebooted Ash travel to regions at such a fast pace? Is he getting badges that fast? The whole point of a reboot would be to nerf Ash, so I don't think he would be so skilled in that case.
  2. His full team of reserves has been shown as recently as 2013, and his Kanto reserves appeared in SM. In contrast, Pokemon he used at the end of Jhoto (2002) were featured after 8 years in the Sinnoh League (2010). Even with rotation though, I'm sure some of them would get the short end of the stick.
  3. It's still entirely possible if not likely that old companions will return in their respective regions. Even Misty returned in BF for a while. I think Battle Frontier's biggest failing is not showing off the Kanto Region enough, but from what I've seen this new series won't have that problem.
  4. No one wants to see Ash battle all the Gyms again. If they were going to do a badge quest, they might as well have just situated the series in Galar. And if he's facing the Elite Four, it would make sense for it to be current Ash, someone who as already proven their strength and beaten a league. Current Ash could travel to each region and fight the Elite Four right off the bat, giving us something different than just gym battles.
  5. I had that thought too, but I think it would be too confusing to a younger audience to have two simultaneous running timelines of the same character. And if they were going that route, why switch them? I thought M20/M21 were great.
  6. I don't really know if they have been advertised to be on equal footing. If this is a continuation, then I'm sure his title will have a heavy impact on the story, unlike BF which was swept under the rug. Even so, Ash doesn't have a big ego so it's in his character if he doesn't bring it up every ten seconds.
Also am I remembering wrong, or did Cynthia state that you needed to beat a league in your "home region" before you can challenge the Elite Four of another. I always thought that was weird, but it's likely just a mistranslation. This could potentially tie into the theory of Ash returning to Kanto to challenge the Indigo League though.
You're right there. Ash has to confront and beat the League Conference before confronting one of the Elite Four and the Champion at the Champion's League. Ash has already gotten all the Gym Badges from all 6 Regions that have them, the only exception that he needs to collect from is Galar.

However, if this is an AU, then it's more than likely that Ash's title of Champion of Alola would be brushed under the rug, just like what happened with his title of being Champion of the Orange Islands and winning the Battle Frontier. As @Daren stated, they're no longer promoting the main games anymore, but instead the entire franchise itself. They clearly don't want to do the Badge Collecting trope again, and instead want to do something fresh and new like SM did, which is why they likely want to stay in that new comfort zone with something similar to that, Ash going to a School like structure, doing slice of life and having a villainous team not as threatening and as serious as before. Regardless to ratings, it did do better than XY, which isn't saying much. It's the equivalent to saying a bruised toe is better than a cut toe. It still hurts. I just feel like SwSh is going to be sidelined over by nostalgia for Kanto and the other popular Regions for the sake of merchandising like crazy far more than before. Once Go came out, and TPCi had gotten a tonne more money in 2 years than it did in it's entire existence, then you know the jig is up. It no longer has the heart it once had since OS (Gen 1-2) When Satoshi Tajiri was at the helm. Instead, all I see of the franchise is nothing more than a glorified shadow of it's former self.

I just hope in this new series they'd give Galar the love it deserves, otherwise they should've just had Gou with an Eevee, the girl character with a Growlithe, and just have all 7 Regions. What a waste of potential for what could've been.
 
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We finally get some news. Looks like this Koharu girl may have a big role in this series?
 
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Go is definitely being adapted here to some extent (a main character being named after the game, his goal being inspired by it, and PokeStops appearing in the research center), so I don't see why Masters receiving somewhat similar treatment is unthinkable. All it would mean is giving screentime to old gym leaders and maybe other old characters, which is what you'd expect from this kind of series, anyway. The game had definitely been at least halfway through development by the time they started working on this series, and it makes more sense to promote something relatively new that could use the buzz than a game that has been doing well for over 3 years.
While his name could be a Pokemon Go inspiration, I don't see how his goal is inspired by it. Catching every Pokemon has been well established in this franchise well before Pokemon Go. It isn't really the goal of Pokemon Go either, or at least I have a hard time seeing it as such considering the amount of region exclusive Pokemon in the game. I also don't recall Pokestops appearing in the research center.

They could use the anime to create some buzz for Masters and it would benefit from that more so than Pokemon Go by comparison. I just don't see a reason why they'd give a mobile spin-off game that much of a priority in the anime over the main series of games. As cool as it would be to see old Gym Leaders and especially other traveling companions, there's no guarantee that they'll do that even with this setup. The Battle Frontier arc didn't feature a lot of characters from the original games despite how Ash and his friends traveled through Kanto all over again, so the same kind of issue could happen here as well. It wouldn't be impossible for them to promote Masters through this series, but I just don't think it's confirmed and the panic that they're giving more priority to mobile games than the main series just kind of rubs me the wrong way anyway.

There are two factors I can think of:
*A general desire to branch out. They did six (seven, if you count the Orange Islands) bad quests in a row over about twenty years. Sun/Moon did something different and it's easy to imagine wanting to keep trying new things instead of going back to a badge quest.
*Pokémon has recently had some major successes outside the mainline games or the anime. There were spinoff games beforehand, but Go was a big success that got the series in the mainstream news again, and there was also the very successful Detective Pikachu movie recently. So the new name and focus could be part of a desire to focus the anime on advertising the brand in general rather than the most recent games in particular.
The general desire to branch out sounds a bit more likely to me. As much as I didn't care for how they handled the Island Challenge, I could see that the writers didn't want to go straight back into a more traditional badge quest after SM. It was probably refreshing for them in a way. The setup for this series kind of sounds like a potential compromise. Ash and his friends still have a homebase where they'll probably hang out at times similar to the Pokemon School or Professor Kukui's place, but they are able to travel around the world and that will hopefully happen more frequently than it did in SM.
 
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So, my friend just reminded me that Professor Oak's Japanese VA died, and well, Japan is known for respecting their VAs so them creating the new anime Professor does make sense.
 
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Stumbling about in the whimsical place of 4Chan led me to this:
126336

This is from the recent CoroCoro issue and I don't know if this will mean anything but could this mean that this new series will get a manga to go with it? Or is me and my big ol' brain looking into this too much?
 
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Is it just me, or does Koharu look like she has the potential to be Iris 2.0, aka the somewhat jerk-ish member of the group who's always criticizing Ash whenever he does something stupid?

One of the things that worries me is this: Apparently, Best Wishes was much better received in Japan than it was in the West. And BW was kind of intended to be a reboot of the anime in a way, with many elements of the Original Series. So will this new series be pretty much the same, where Ash has suddenly lost all of his competence as a Trainer for no apparent reason?
 
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So, my friend just reminded me that Professor Oak's Japanese VA died, and well, Japan is known for respecting their VAs so them creating the new anime Professor does make sense.
In that case we will probably not see Gardenia since her VA died of colon cancer 6 years ago.

Yet how come in Masters there is a replacemebt VA, unless they consider that a completely different series.

Is it just me, or does Koharu look like she has the potential to be Iris 2.0, aka the somewhat jerk-ish member of the group who's always criticizing Ash whenever he does something stupid?

One of the things that worries me is this: Apparently, Best Wishes was much better received in Japan than it was in the West. And BW was kind of intended to be a reboot of the anime in a way, with many elements of the Original Series. So will this new series be pretty much the same, where Ash has suddenly lost all of his competence as a Trainer for no apparent reason?
Seems likely the case, since the anime is just there to market the entire franchise, and not the games as it once did.
 
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Maybe... if they follow the pattern again.

OS had Misty, a very sassy and wild girl.
AG had May, a down to earth girl.
DP had Dawn, a very girlish and sweet girl.

BW had Iris, who like Misty was a very sassy and wild girl.
XY had Serena, who like May was kinda a down to earth girl.
S&M had Lillie, Mallow, Lana, who all were all like Dawn sweet and girlish in their own way.

I could see Koharu becoming the new Misty/Iris of the upcoming anime, especially when this new series will be a some-what-reboot. It isn't called just Pocket Monster for anything.
 
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Maybe... if they follow the pattern again.

OS had Misty, a very sassy and wild girl.
AG had May, a down to earth girl.
DP had Dawn, a very girlish and sweet girl.

BW had Iris, who like Misty was a very sassy and wild girl.
XY had Serena, who like May was kinda a down to earth girl.
S&M had Lillie, Mallow, Lana, who all were all like Dawn sweet and girlish in their own way.

I could see Koharu becoming the new Misty/Iris of the upcoming anime, especially when this new series will be a some-what-reboot. It isn't called just Pocket Monster for anything.
It'll be a strange mix of Continuation and AU, since they're trying to have it nothing to do with the OU Ash (Badge Collecting).
 
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Can someone translate the stuff that's visible?
There's really not a lot to go on there. The stuff at the top is just advertising "MewTwo Strikes Back Evolution". The text on the bottom right basically "Ash and Gou's adventure is unfolding passionately in Corocoro magazine!" and the text on the bottom left is far too fragmented other than a few scant words like "Deluxe Edition" and "Commemoration".
 
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I really wanted it to go back to the Badge Collecting quest tbh, since that's the real charm for the series as a whole. Taking that out is like taking out what makes the Pokemon anime unique and special. I can understand Alola since that's based on Hawaii and is only starting out with the Leagues, but why Galar since that's based in the UK? They can at least make it something refreshing and different, not go down a similar path to SM. But what's the use of complaining, they never listen to fans, plus it's a Japanese Company. Like all big franchises, they all come crashing down eventually.
 
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I don't think I like the idea of this new series at all. It seems like it is going to be all over the place and have too many characters again. I guess the good thing is that we won't be stuck in one place like in Alola but now it feels like they are overcompensating.

Why not have the new series take place in Galar and stick with three or four characters? They have already tried new things in SM so I think now is the time to go back to the old group dynamic.

And if they are adding new characters just like in movie 20 instead of using the old ones what is the point of revisiting old regions? It's not like that will appeal to older nostalgic fans.
 
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