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Pokemon Journeys: Thoughts So Far

Lord of the Rhinos!
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We're currently 39 episodes into the run so I was wondering, what are your thoughts so far overall

Positives:
Wide variety of Pokemon seen, some we haven't see in ages
Team Rocket not being used as much
Wide variety of locations being used
Past characters returning

Negatives:
Goh getting too many Pokemon and too much focus
Too much Kanto
Chloe not getting much focus
 
Kanan Jarrus is a Great Space Dad
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Pros
Leon appearing
Callbacks
The episodes in Galar

Cons
No Hop
Self contained
Goh catching everyone who he sees
 
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I'm only about 19 or so episodes into the dub, so I'll preface that this is not a complete sum of thoughts since I'm obviously aware of things to come and whatnot but...

Overall, "Journeys" has just been very meh. It's not been terrible but the lack of focus even with the PWC introduced makes the episodes feel very aimless and meandering. While I don't hate Gou, his "gotta catch 'em all" schtick isn't very interesting to watch on screen and I would have preferred him stick to a research assistant trying to learn about Pokémon to understand Mew - his commentary about the Dragonite evolution line during that particular episode sticks out in my mind as a good example. Ash on the other hand at least has a more tangible goal and while I initially loved the idea of a PWC it's execution leaves a lot to be desired. Lastly that takes us to Koharu to is by far the most interesting of the three quasi-main characters, yet sadly does not get nearly enough screentime she deserves which is a shame.

We still have time to salvage this series, but given the preview of the DD arc...I'm not exactly holding out hope.
 
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The main issue I have with Pokemon Journeys (aside from Goh’s method of catching Pokémon) is the fact that Ash over uses Pikachu and Riolu in most battles. I have no problem with Ash catching Pokémon that have already been introduced in previous series and I understand that Lucario is a fan favorite Pokemon. But Riolu/Lucario in general have had a lot of appearances in the anime. I’m hoping that later on in the series they start to focus more on Ash’s other Pokémon, specially his Galarian Farfetch’d since it hasn’t really appeared much since it’s capture. I’m also hoping that Ash’s 6th Pokemon is another Galar region Pokemon.
 
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Pros
-Loving the PWC and Ash's goal to make it to the top to fight Champion Leon. It feels like a good way to move forward after Ash became the Alolan Champion.
-Ash and Goh have great chemistry.
-The many, many callbacks. Its so awesome to see characters like Lance, Korrina, Chuck, and the Alola crew again. Plus seeing references like Ash's battle with Lt. Surge and that Bayleef cameo.
-Ash's team is just awesome. I just love his Riolu so much, and seeing him with powerful Pokemon like Dragonite and Gengar is nice.
-The world tour aspect is great and has given us the chance to see many familiar places.

Cons
-I hate how Goh's goal of catching Mew is handled. Seriously, all these captures are so pointless and have taken the joy out of capture episodes because he catches so many and doesn't even use 95% of them. It doesn't make for an interesting goal for a protagonist and its done way too easily. I don't feel compelled at all to root for him. I just go "Ugh. Another pointless capture."
-Very minor, but I just hate the name Goh and really wish the dub gave him a better name.
-Pokemon Go should not have been represented in the way it is being represented.
-The lack of balance between Ash focused episodes and Goh focused episodes.
-The Rocket Gacha machine. Seriously, part of the joy of Team Rocket each season is watching them bond with Pokemon they catch, yet here we don't get that.
-Waaaaaaay too much time is spent in Kanto, despite it being advertised as a world tour.
-Chloe not being treated enough like a main character
-Dragonite, Gengar, and G-Farfetch'd haven't gotten enough focus.
-The episodic format is not that enjoyable and doesn't give us this sense of a natural series progression or flow.
-Large cities such as Wyndon and Castelia City have often felt way too empty. There's no life to the cities.
-Giving all Galarian starters to Goh was a horrible move. I was hoping to see them shown off in interesting ways, but nope.
 
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That's the way it is.
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My opinion on this series hasn't really changed but I do think they've improved in some areas in the past couple of episodes

PROS:
+
Pokemon Journeys though I do have a lot of issues with so far, has done a great job out of breaking out of old trends like Ash slowly building up his team with first stage starters and rather him getting a really good team from the get-go. I love that they're willing to take for risks with this series and by the time Ash caught Dragonite it really established the tact that Journeys was going to be a much more unique in a lot of its choices.

+ The continuity so far in this series, while having a lot of missed opportunities, is a huge step up from a lot of the self-contained nature series like XY had and I enjoy that most references are integrated into episodes smoothly w/o feeling in your face about it

+ This is the first series I actually feel invested in Ash's character because the World Championships opens up more oppurtunities for rivals of the past to come up, or for newer rivalries to be established. His new design is also much, much less of an eyesore to look at

+ Team Rocket battles are actually entertaining again since there's no issue of a power level to hold them back with the Gachat Machine. The ability to also get a bigger variety of Pokémon also not only makes every battle fresh but allows them to use whatever Pokémon pertains the plot at the time which makes them more versatile.

+ The chemistry between the main characters is the first time I truly felt interested since BW and Ash and Go's relationship is handled great. Though Go slightly edges over Ash in terms of focus, I think this is a good thing since he's already gotten over 20+ years and a lot of the older companions that didn't receive the same amount of focus either stagnated overtime (Clemont, Lillie, Brock) or had interesting goals but never really got a chance to shine due to lack of focus (Misty and Iris). I initially did not feel interested in Goh's character and goal, but it's been developed well enough these past few episodes that I think he's slowly becoming one of my favorite MCs :giggle:

CONS:
-
The self contained format of the series has hurt a lot of it's storytelling and I think a lot of crucial points in the series like the Korrina and Alola reunions could've greatly benefit from being two parters instead. Whether this stays or not depends on if they actually change up for the Friday timeslot but time will tell

- The focus in the series has seemed very lost since Riolu's capture. Gengar hasn't won a battle or done anything outside of cameos TWENTY episodes, Galarfetch'd got immediately shafted after 3 episodes (poor guy doesn't even appear on the new poster) and Dragonite, while probably getting the most focus out of these 3, still has been used significantly less in comparison to Pikachu and Riolu. It's bound to change when Riolu evolves but so far it's very lop sided.

- The animation in this series so far has had a couple of standout episodes but when it's bad, you know it's bad. I enjoy the art style of this series much more than SM's, but with most of the bounciness and fluidity being gone it leaves a lot to be desired throughout lots of moments throughout the series.

- TRio's mishandling in the series is disappointing because SM completely nailed their characterization, yet in most of their appearances in Journeys they're solely limited to being used as a crutch for conflict in episodes without having much purpose outside of that. The lack of any personal Pokémon besides Wobbuffet doesn't bother me because Mimikyu and Mareanie were underused but having no interesting motives to go off this series like the Bewear van or collecting Z-Rings makes them feel very one dimensional as characters

Overall, so far I think Journeys is mediocre but has the potential to change its direction if the self contained format is adjusted and screentime with its character is handled more effectively.

OVERALL SCORE:
6/10
 
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Recent few episodes have been good but as far as this first half is concerned, I really don't have much new to say other than the stuff I said before and that this series has been pretty annoying to me since it just can't decide whether it wants to be a glorious celebration of all things Pokémon or a pale shadow that lacks the soul of the other seasons.

  • A sight to behold in terms of continuity and returning characters considering I love this kind of stuff.
  • The dub is pretty good and I'd dare even say it's better than the show itself (for the most part, wink wink nudge nudge James and Meowth).
  • The PWC (while some of the execution does leave a bit to be desired) is a very nice change of pace for Ash.
  • Ash is (for the most part, staring at you Episode 30) pretty competent with his battling skills much in the same way as the other seasons after BW while also retaining his childish yet fun personality without one overtaking the other. Pikachu continues to rock (for the most part, again rot in hell Episode 30) too.
  • Riolu is such an adorable cutie and so is Dragonite too.
  • I do like them changing things up with Ash not being relegated to just catching the newer mons only buuutttt...
  • the handling of said team hasn't been all that great with the others feeling like they're just background props who show up every now and then. If this keeps up Farfetch'd is probably gonna find itself being thrown in the garbage can with the likes of Noivern and Torterra.
  • Sakuragi, Koharu and the assistants are good characters but I feel as if Koharu is still just gonna be stuck doing f'all outside of her own episodes which would be an absolute shame. Not having hope for her soon to arrive Eevee either.
  • I like Leon as a character and he could make a formidable foe for Ash to overcome buuttttt...
  • the Dynamax/Gigantamax stuff is pretty boring to watch (one of the reasons I've shied away from the games too) and
  • the incredibly lackluster and even sometimes poor animation hasn't been helping either. There are some great moments here and there but outside of some folks like Iwane and Ohashi, it feels like the show's reached One Punch Man 2 levels of animation for the most part.
  • Gou's goal is still uninteresting but then again this is coming from someone who doesn't care too much about Go.
  • Team Rocket... oh my sweet Team Rocket, what have they done to you? They really have gone ass backwards thanks to the Gacha machine, one of the things I liked was seeing them bond with their Pokémon which thanks to said machine we don't see much of. Again, they do have some good moments that remind me of the TRio I know and love but then the Gacha machine rears it's ugly head to remind me of the situation they're in.
  • Episode 30 being a thing derailing one of my favorite characters (and the mascot to be exact) and in the end serving no purpose or reason to exist whatsoever, that second rewatch made me like I'm watching a really badly acted soap opera with dumb characters, dumb decisions and questionable writing.
So yeah, it's still a 2.5/5 on my side.
 
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I'm a male Mew and Sobble fan
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I agree with mostly everything that has been said so far. It's not bad, but it could be much better.

I'll add one more pro and two more cons to the mix.

Pro: I really like Bea. I think she's a solid character and after the last episode we just had, I hope we see more of her. Definitely one of my favorite characters in Journeys so far.

Con #1: The way Sobble has been handled so far. Not just in the anime, but the way it was advertised. I'm still a little salty that Goh caught it and I don't like the way he caught it (seriously, throwing a ball randomly and getting lucky made me cringe). Admittedly, the way things are going now, if Ash had caught Sobble, it might have been collecting dust like Gengar. However, I still would've loved to see Ash and Sobble bond together and it looked like that was going to happen, but it didn't, which leads me to the "way it was advertised" part. When we got that little preview in episode 20, it was made to look like Ash would get Sobble because we heard his voice over the clip that Sobble was in. Turns out, that line was for Ash catching Galarian Farfetch'd. Not only that, but if I remember correctly, some merch and even a magazine scan made it look like Sobble would go to Ash. Obviously, that didn't happen. That being said, Sobble being with Goh hasn't been the worst thing ever and it has seen some action. However, I would love to see it be used more instead of just being there for the sake of reminding people that it's a cute Galar starter. It's still early, so I'll give it more time.

Con #2: The lack of Galar Pokemon being shown off up to this point. Obviously since this is a world tour style series, it's not going to be easy showing off all the new Pokemon this early on. However, I would've loved to see more of the new Galar Pokemon, especially Grookey. Where tf is this adorable little monkey? Why has it taken this long for it to debut? We still haven't even seen it and by the looks of things, it might not appear until 2021. That would be over 50 episodes in. Way too long in my opinion. It's a new starter, it should've appeared at least 30 episodes in to this new series. I feel horrible for the die-hard Grookey fans, I really do. They deserve better, and who knows what the writers will even do with Grookey. It might not get much attention, but who knows? We still got plenty of time, but I'd love to see Grookey appear before this year is up.
 
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I agree with mostly everything that has been said so far. It's not bad, but it could be much better.

I'll add one more pro and two more cons to the mix.

Pro: I really like Bea. I think she's a solid character and after the last episode we just had, I hope we see more of her. Definitely one of my favorite characters in Journeys so far.

Con #1: The way Sobble has been handled so far. Not just in the anime, but the way it was advertised. I'm still a little salty that Goh caught it and I don't like the way he caught it (seriously, throwing a ball randomly and getting lucky made me cringe). Admittedly, the way things are going now, if Ash had caught Sobble, it might have been collecting dust like Gengar. However, I still would've loved to see Ash and Sobble bond together and it looked like that was going to happen, but it didn't, which leads me to the "way it was advertised" part. When we got that little preview in episode 20, it was made to look like Ash would get Sobble because we heard his voice over the clip that Sobble was in. Turns out, that line was for Ash catching Galarian Farfetch'd. Not only that, but if I remember correctly, some merch and even a magazine scan made it look like Sobble would go to Ash. Obviously, that didn't happen. That being said, Sobble being with Goh hasn't been the worst thing ever and it has seen some action. However, I would love to see it be used more instead of just being there for the sake of reminding people that it's a cute Galar starter. It's still early, so I'll give it more time.

Con #2: The lack of Galar Pokemon being shown off up to this point. Obviously since this is a world tour style series, it's not going to be easy showing off all the new Pokemon this early on. However, I would've loved to see more of the new Galar Pokemon, especially Grookey. Where tf is this adorable little monkey? Why has it taken this long for it to debut? We still haven't even seen it and by the looks of things, it might not appear until 2021. That would be over 50 episodes in. Way too long in my opinion. It's a new starter, it should've appeared at least 30 episodes in to this new series. I feel horrible for the die-hard Grookey fans, I really do. They deserve better, and who knows what the writers will even do with Grookey. It might not get much attention, but who knows? We still got plenty of time, but I'd love to see Grookey appear before this year is up.
Totally agree here especially with how Sobble and the Galar Pokémon are handled. I’ve never been a fan of blatant false advertisement and this was no exception especially with them intentionally misdirecting the audience in multiple forms of media to point towards Ash getting it only for them not only to give it to Go but for, aside from a number of instances that you can count on 1 hand, all it really does is just exist glued to Go’s shoulder. That is terrible handling of a Pokémon and really doesn’t help soften the blow that they gave it to the person who is less likely to show it off in any meaningful way. I do disagree that it would be gathering dust if Ash caught it, being a stage 1 Pokémon in a team half full of fully evolved Pokémon (and Pikachu) plus being a very popular evolution line of the current gen, it would have been bound to get plenty of attention.

As for Galar Pokémon, it definitely presents a big weakness in the series’s world tour aspect in that this gen’s Pokémon aren’t really being shown. Such a thing wouldn’t be a problem if the world tour had been something occurring between gens similar to the Orange Islands and Battle Frontier since then it wouldn’t take away from the current region getting to displayed. Because, the fact that we’ve really only been to maybe 3 locations in Galar in their trips there, Galar’s Pokémon never get to be shown off.
 
ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)
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It's been all right, but not much more than that.

Like all series it has its pros (nice variety of mons shown, past references, pwc as a concept) and cons (Ash's team full of boring shillmons we've seen a 1000 times before instead of something new, giga/dynamax killing excitement of battles as the mons get too slow, episodic format resulting in rushed episodes). Go is all right but I don't care much for him or his goal tbh.

That said, most series are kind of underwhelming in the beginning and get better the further along things get, and I would expect nothing less of Journeys. We have some actual plot with SWSH arc coming up, evolutions for Ash and Go's main pokemon, which will help a lot, and that's just in the immediate future. I think the series has a bright run ahead of it.
 
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unnamed.png
PLUSLE

+ The world tournament is a nice idea. It gives Ash the chance to redeem itself after so many years.

+ We had some amazing episodes like Alola return, Rocket vacation and Bea episodes

+ The design of some characters is interesting is a step up from other series.

+ Past references and past characters appaering is a good thing.

+Possible future rencounters (Big Rocket reunion party please).

+ Nice animation.

+ We seem to reach a point in the series where it is starting to get interesting, specially with DarkestNight and probably OS Mewtwo appearence in the anime for the first time in almost 20 years.

+ Koharu beeing the best character in therms of development right now.




minun.png
Minun

- Go as a somewhat bland character, this would be not this important if it not was for the fact that he is a coprotagonist, I expect something more from a coprotagonist to be fair.

- Go bland goal, catching to many Pokemon makes it difficult to care about some of those Pokémon.

-The lack of Development in some Pokemon, outside battles only Scorbunny,Pikachu,Yamper and Magikarp had a development episode for themselves.

-The lack of Pokemon being used, for example in all the battles again Team Rocket Pikachu and Scorbunny where used in most, Gengar only fought them in his debut, Golurk, Oddish,Schyther and Farfetch are used often but then they dissapear for episodes.

-Sobble beeing useless. To be fair I don't care about this. It's better this way he does not deserve to be 007 Inteleon (Insert James Bond theme)

-Why were Gengar and Farfetch'd caught for?At least Dragonite can be used for transport.

-THAT STUPID GATCHA I need to know why. Can someone ask the director why this is a good idea in his mind?

-The fact that Team Rocket has neither quality nor quantity.

-Team Rocket beeing randomer than when they were in Johto. They even have a random machine.

- Cerisse and co are boring as hell.

- KANTO KANTO AND MORE KANTO

-Why does Ash and Team Rocket cannot have a Galar native Pokémon? I know they are uggly but come on. (Farfetch'd is a region variant)

-Self contained episodes suck

-So do the 2 on 1 episodes.

- PLOTHOLES Like where the hell did Morpeko come from and where is it now.

- Too much Goh, he could have been such a cool character... Come on.

- The tittle of this series... So original...

- This series had a rough start episodes from 3 to 11 were horrendous.
 
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is a goat now
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Been pretty good! Overall I've especially enjoyed the art style and returning characters we'd probably not see otherwise. Go is one of my favorite companions to travel with Ash too - they have a really sweet, brotherly bond. <3

I honestly expected a bit more travel and exploration for a saga focusing on exploring all the regions though, rather than one-off episodes. Even if staff had reasons for it, it definitely feels rushed because of that at times and is definitely my biggest con atm. Hoping this is just the usual slow start that a lot of series suffer with and we get improvements to those aspects time, especially since the timeslot changed to a day of the week which works better for multi-episodes and as a result, hopefully better/less rushed plots.

That and the lack of focus on Ash's Dragonite, Gengar, and Farfetch'd, which fingers crossed they'll rectify (and stick with) soon enough.
 
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It's a series where the concepts are solid as all heck. It's the sort of thing that should be easy to make crazy awesome with fanfiction. It's the execution that is the issue.
It’s kinda sad when you look at a product and can’t help but think ‘you were literally given all the pieces to make something truly amazing. It should have been simple. How did you manage to screw that up?’
 
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It’s kinda sad when you look at a product and can’t help but think ‘you were literally given all the pieces to make something truly amazing. It should have been simple. How did you manage to screw that up?’
‘Cause time, money, etc. Or maybe even just a lack of care. I dunno anymore, really. All I know is that, if this year has proved anything, Pokemon will never achieve its full potential in anything that it does.
 
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‘Cause time, money, etc. Or maybe even just a lack of care. I dunno anymore, really. All I know is that, if this year has proved anything, Pokemon will never achieve its full potential in anything that it does.
The sad thing is that not only is this true, but they’re actively getting lower in quality. Just look at this series and compare it to the ones that came before it. You could actually feel like they were getting to know the world around them and seeing the sights of the different regions. With this series and how any time that they go to another region that it just feels like a day trip, you never really get the feeling of really exploring the world. Instead, it’s like everything is just within arm’s reach. It’s like the very soul of the series was just sucked out this time around.
 
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