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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

Audino1008

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Don't understand why people are upset on Iris being here, she'd had 2 whole Sagas to improve. Just look at Ash, he was arguably around the same level as her in BW and the very next series he came in as a very very close second in a major League. Iris had more than twice this amount of time since the end of BW.

Plus after just one Saga since saying goodbye to Iris Ash literally changed so much that the laws of physics and biology of humans changed around him in SM, so...
 

Hidden Mew

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Personally, I just find it unbelievable for Iris to improve this much. Yes, she hadn't appeared for a long time prior to Journeys, but I don't think that's really the best defense given that time doesn't make sense in-universe. Burnet gave birth and Ash is still somehow ten. At least with Ash, we did see how he improved over the course of XY. We didn't jump from his lost to the Unova League to winning the Alola League without any context or understanding of how we got from point A to point B. It doesn't really fit with Iris' characterization from BW either. She didn't want to become a Gym Leader, but now she's suddenly the Unova Champion. It just feels like a lot to expect the audience to believe that she could improve that much off screen when there wasn't much, if any, good foundation for that development to start. She wanted to become a Dragon Master, but she never showed any interest in battling Gym Leaders, taking part in the Unova League or challenging any of the Unova Elite 4/Champion before.

It doesn't feel like a natural evolution for her character. It feels like they forced her into this role to better match her video game counterpart. If Iris was not the Unova Champion in B2/W2, she definitely wouldn't be in the Master Class. Granted, they obviously wanted to have each generation represented in the Master Class as well, but if any other character was the Unova Champion in B2/W2 instead, Iris would probably have been a Gym Leader instead, which I think would have been a bit more fitting. She wasn't interested in the position, but I feel like Gym Leader would have been a more reasonable amount of off-screen development as opposed to being the Unova Champion.

Admittedly, I'm probably a bit biased here since I've always hated Iris. I hated her storyline in BW, she was pretty unlikable/annoying for most of the series and there were only a few moments during BW where I thought she worked or had effective moments. Making Iris the Unova Champion off-screen and giving her a Haxorus doesn't make me think that she's improved so much or that it's a fitting place for her character. It makes me think that they're still making Iris into the special gifted Dragon Master in training, which aannoyed me so much and her skills in battle never matched with how much they were trying to hype her up, and that they're forcing her to be in this role because of the games. I can understand why Iris fans would be thrilled with this development, especially when plenty of people were sad about her not appearing in XY, and that is great. I'm glad that it does make people happy. If I was more invested in Iris's character or storyline, then I'd probably be happy about it too. But since I'm not and I feel this to be more of a forced way for her to match more with her video game counterpart, it falls completely flat for me. That being said, this would still be on the lower end of the totem pole for my issues with the PWC and Journeys as a whole for that matter.
 
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Don't understand why people are upset on Iris being here, she'd had 2 whole Sagas to improve. Just look at Ash, he was arguably around the same level as her in BW and the very next series he came in as a very very close second in a major League. Iris had more than twice this amount of time since the end of BW.

Plus after just one Saga since saying goodbye to Iris Ash literally changed so much that the laws of physics and biology of humans changed around him in SM, so...
Maybe it's because her title as Unova Champion wasn't believable enough considering the fact she rarely trained her pokemon in BW.Going from an ordinary Trainer to Champion in the span of 2 sagas just feels forced especially when you have characters like Paul who has ton of experience traveling to different regions and constantly trying to improve himself yet the highest he could go in DP was Frontier Brain level.So why does Iris get to leapfrog more qualified trainers just because she finally decides to "train more?"

It also doesn't help that Ash already defeated her prior to the M8,bringing her back lowered the excitement level.Her spot could've easily been used for another trainer who is also on that level or someone we haven't seen for a very long time and was anticipating that they'd be in that spot due to them returning.
 
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Ash technically went from an ordinary Trainer to a Champion within one series during SM.
Yeah Ash doesn't get a pass either,it's not as bad as Iris but it's still quite ridiculous the feats he's been capable of pulling off with barely any on screen training to show for it and this is all without Ash-Greninja.We're now in the era of characters at the age of 10 being capable of reaching that level in a short amount of time.
 

ManUtd22

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Maybe it's because her title as Unova Champion wasn't believable enough considering the fact she rarely trained her pokemon in BW.Going from an ordinary Trainer to Champion in the span of 2 sagas just feels forced especially when you have characters like Paul who has ton of experience traveling to different regions and constantly trying to improve himself yet the highest he could go in DP was Frontier Brain level.So why does Iris get to leapfrog more qualified trainers just because she finally decides to "train more?"


Tottaly agree in everything you and everything miss hidden mew said. Paul will reach it If he can but he can't cause he will not reach pyramid King level at all

Pyramid King is nearby to be in sinnoh champion level in both smart level and being very strong level. Secondly he will not reach the level of sinnoh champion to bias which most be the one who most play other than Alan

Iris most been thrown away from the entire anime.

Finally, to everyone who didn't like our opinion, then You can see our opinion from this thread Do you think the writers are doing enough with Iris? which completed 11 years anniversary
 

Hidden Mew

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Ash technically went from an ordinary Trainer to a Champion within one series during SM.
Ash becoming the first Alola League Champion feels a lot more believable and justified than Iris becoming the Unova Champion in large part because the Alola League was really not that challenging. Few of the trainers there besides Ash were particularly strong or focused in on battling. It also helps that we actually saw how the Alola League turned out as opposed to having it all happen off-screen and the audience is just supposed to believe it. Admittedly, it might not be a fair comparison since we would see Ash's progression much more tha any of the former traveling companions, but at the same time, I just don't think that there was a good foundation for Iris' off-screen development to make it feel natural or earned.
 
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Just look at the parallels here between Journeys and DBS.

Iris did little to no training in BW while trainers like Ash and Paul have experience battling other trainers in multiple leagues along with the training.But she quickly becomes champion within the 2 series absence post BW.

Master Roshi sat in his chair reading dirty magazines and watching women aerobics on television while Tien,Krillin,Yamcha and Chiaotzu spent their training at the Lookout Tower and King Kai's Planet in DBZ.But in DBS Roshi is portrayed as stronger than all of them.He was literally using Ultra Instinct in the manga.
 

Broseph08

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I don't mind Iris improving a lot and becoming champion in two sagas since that is what I wanted for Ash back in Johto. She's just did what he should have done as far as I'm concerned. But I also would have liked Gary to become Kanto Champion off-screen so I actually like matching stuff up with the games. I'd much rather have a Blastoise ace in the Masters 8 instead of another Charizard
 

Rath

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Personally, I just find it unbelievable for Iris to improve this much. Yes, she hadn't appeared for a long time prior to Journeys, but I don't think that's really the best defense given that time doesn't make sense in-universe. Burnet gave birth and Ash is still somehow ten.
It's pretty clear how time works here; it works like The Simpsons or Family Guy. Apu had bunch of kids while Bart stayed 10. Stewie is still 1.

Years pass and things happen, the characters simply never age.
 

Beatsy Ray

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It's pretty clear how time works here; it works like The Simpsons or Family Guy. Apu had bunch of kids while Bart stayed 10. Stewie is still 1.

Years pass and things happen, the characters simply never age.
Even with a time skip, it doesn't make sense for Iris to randomly skyrocket ahead of nearly every powerful trainer in universe. If everyone really is in a hyperbolic time chamber, characters should be powering up at essentially the same rate anyway, leaving Iris as still relatively weak.

Her extreme boost in power defies all logic, and definitely feels like a retcon to make her more like her game counterpart. The same kind of retcon that erased Mimey's original characterization in order to make it more like the Mr. Mime from Detective Pikachu.
 
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ManUtd22

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And to tell you the truth, then the decision of being like the game counterpart was a decision that been made after knowing that she was there without any single reason. Just people seeing her little kid face then then went to even more worse than the beginning which was very annoying
 

Sai

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Even with a time skip, it doesn't make sense for Iris to randomly skyrocket ahead of nearly ever powerful trainer in universe. If everyone really is in a hyperbolic time chamber, characters should be powering up at essentially the same rate anyway, leaving Iris as still relatively weak.

Her extreme boost in power defies all logic, and definitely feels like a retcon to make her more like her game counterpart.
Iris only became the strongest in unova, which beating the Unova league isn't some unlikely task given the trainers there were fairly weak when Ash was there. Most of the Unova Elite 4 never debuted in the anime so we have no idea what they are like. They should of shown a flashback of Iris battling Alder though.

Besides that we saw her in Super Class so we know she had to work her way up the ranks like Ash did and wasn't in the Masters 8 all this time like Lance, Raihan and Leon were previously.

The gulf between champions and regular trainers has also been narrowed this series, Elite 4 are no longer portrayed as these unbeatable characters like back in DP. It was long overdue, seeing even DP era Ash struggle to land an attack on Flint and Bertha felt odd.

As for Paul, obviously there's no way for him to become champion without Cynthia or someone taking the fall so there was no way that would happen. Alder was treated like an afterthought even in the games with N beating him so he's the most expendable character.
 

Beatsy Ray

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Iris only became the strongest in unova, which beating the Unova league isn't some unlikely task given the trainers there were fairly weak when Ash was there. Most of the Unova Elite 4 never debuted in the anime so we have no idea what they are like. They should of shown a flashback of Iris battling Alder though.
Strongest in Unova, but also 7th strongest in the entire world. Even if you consider the possibility that some E4 members and gym leaders are sitting the PWC out, there's still 92 trainers in the Ultra Class that are basically E4 tier.
Besides that we saw her in Super Class so we know she had to work her way up the ranks like Ash did and wasn't in the Masters 8 all this time like Lance, Raihan and Leon were previously.
BW Iris to Unova champion, and then super class to masters 8 are still two insane individual leaps.
The gulf between champions and regular trainers has also been narrowed this series, Elite 4 are no longer portrayed as these unbeatable characters like back in DP. It was long overdue, seeing even DP era Ash struggle to land an attack on Flint and Bertha felt odd.
The gulf between champions and Ash has narrowed. I doubt the writers intended to actually make the champions inexplicably weaker here, they wanted to portray Ash as stronger. Not that there aren't issues with how they've attempted that.
As for Paul, obviously there's no way for him to become champion without Cynthia or someone taking the fall so there was no way that would happen. Alder was treated like an afterthought even in the games with N beating him so he's the most expendable character.
But despite what it looks like, this isn't a champion's league. Cynthia blocking other trainers from becoming Sinnoh champion has nothing to do with whether they qualify for the masters 8. The M8 shouldn't have any Unova representation at all by your argument.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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I will admit that I don't have a problem with Iris and Alain being part of the Masters 8 over Paul. Sure, there's definitely issues with Iris's character handling and it's plainly obvious that she's only Champion in the anime because her game incarnation is one in the B2W2 games, but if you ask me this is still an improvement over her time as a traveling companion because at least that useless Axew of hers finally put his big boy pants on and because she's clearly matured and her skills with connecting with Dragon-types are now at the very least actually consistent instead of the ridiculous flip-flopping "expert one second, inept the next, rinse and repeat to oblivion" mess that they were in the BW era. I actually have very similar feelings about Misty, in that over the years I've grown to greatly dislike her "development" and characterization during the time she was a traveling companion only to enjoy her far more in the episodes where she's a returning character.

As for Alain, well, it just makes more sense to have him instead of Paul because Ash has a lot more to gain from a rematch with the former. I mean, he's already beaten Paul. Their story and rivalry is over. There's honestly no real good narrative reason or stakes in Ash beating him again. On the other hand, Alain is the one recurring rival that Ash never got to beat and the one that handed him what's arguably his most contested League loss, so a rematch between Ash and Alain has a whole lot more weight to it and would garner far more excitement from the average fan of the Pokemon anime than a rematch with Paul would.

Also (and I know this is probably gonna paint a huge target on my back, but...), seeing how Paul got away with a lot of seriously nasty behavior during DP, most egregiously his horrible treatment of Chimchar, without suffering any real consequences or even character development for it, I admit that I'd find it rather cathartic for him to have participated in the PWC only to just barely miss out on the cut.
 

Hidden Mew

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It's pretty clear how time works here; it works like The Simpsons or Family Guy. Apu had bunch of kids while Bart stayed 10. Stewie is still 1.

Years pass and things happen, the characters simply never age.
That's how I always saw how time works in the Pokemon anime too. That doesn't mean that it makes sense or that it would make it more believable for Iris to become the Unova Champion between the end of BW and her appearance in Journeys.

Iris only became the strongest in unova, which beating the Unova league isn't some unlikely task given the trainers there were fairly weak when Ash was there. Most of the Unova Elite 4 never debuted in the anime so we have no idea what they are like. They should of shown a flashback of Iris battling Alder though.
That's still a pretty huge amount of off-screen development considering where Iris was at the end of BW and her special. Becoming the strongest in Unova is still a pretty big deal. The trainers there could have easily gotten stronger since BW, especially when I assume that Gym Leaders would still be training their teams. If the Unova Elite 4 are anything like how they've generally presented other Elite 4 members, then they probably would be significantly strong too. The fact that they never debuted in the anime doesn't necessarily mean that they're weak or would be easy for Iris to defeat. We can't be certain of how strong any of them actually were, but becoming the regional Champion wouldn't be an easy feat regardless.

Besides that we saw her in Super Class so we know she had to work her way up the ranks like Ash did and wasn't in the Masters 8 all this time like Lance, Raihan and Leon were previously.
While that is true, I just think it's a bit much for her to become Champion and then climb her way to the Master Class, even with how they established that she'd continue to work towards climbing the ranks after her battle with Ash. It makes sense with how they wanted all eight generations represented in the PWC, but I think it also contribute to Iris' having unbelievable off-screen development. The fact that I never bought into Iris as being anything more than average battle skills at best despite how BW tried to present her probably doesn't help with this issue though.

The gulf between champions and regular trainers has also been narrowed this series, Elite 4 are no longer portrayed as these unbeatable characters like back in DP. It was long overdue, seeing even DP era Ash struggle to land an attack on Flint and Bertha felt odd.
I thought that it was more like they wanted to make Ash look stronger more so than making Champions and Elite 4 members weaker per say. Personally, I was fine with Elite 4 members being presented as being unbeatable. It established their strength and skills that came from being some of the best trainers in their particular region. It didn't feel odd to me that DP Ash couldn't land much of a hit on Flint or Bertha. While I still say that Ash was at his peak during that series, he has had plenty of defeats and he wouldn't have been able to do much damage to their Pokemon, let alone defeat them. The fact that Pikachu was the only one of his Pokemon to last more than one hit against Flint's Infernape was also pretty telling. You could argue that having them not be unbeatable fits more with the games given that they are supposed to lose to the playable character, but I felt like putting them on a high pedestal kind of made more sense within the context of the anime. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing or necessarily a problem to change this though. It just feels a bit strange to me, especially when I wouldn't say Ash's Journeys team is particularly great or that his skills are better than they have been in other series.

As for Paul, obviously there's no way for him to become champion without Cynthia or someone taking the fall so there was no way that would happen. Alder was treated like an afterthought even in the games with N beating him so he's the most expendable character.
Paul definitely wasn't going to fit within the Master Class since they wanted to be regional Champions plus Ash and Alain. I don't really mind that. I just think it's weird that they didn't have him be in the PWC as an Ultra Class opponent. But given that Ash already defeated Paul, their rivalry is effectively over and they couldn't really build up to a rematch since the highest they could have gone was the Ultra Class rank, maybe they didn't think it was necessary or worthwhile to bring Paul into this tournament. As far as unexpected picks to create hype and excitement goes, Alain would also make more sense. People would love to see Ash defeat Alain and I'm sure that the writers know this too. Having Ash vs. Alain at some point would be such an easy way to create hype for the Master Class and get people talking about the episode even more online.

I think removing Alder has less to do with him being expendable and more the fact that he isn't the current Unova Champion. Even in Pokemon Masters, Iris is presented as the current Unova Champion, not Alder. Since they want to have all eight generations represented in the Master Class and Iris is the Unova Champion in the games, they had to force her into that role despite how, in my opinion at least, her anime characterization doesn't make her a good fit for suddenly becoming the Unova Champion. If Alder was the Unova Champion in B2/W2 or any other character took up the Champion title in the sequels, then they would be in the Master Class, not Iris.
 

CharizardFan7

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As for Alain, well, it just makes more sense to have him instead of Paul because Ash has a lot more to gain from a rematch with the former. I mean, he's already beaten Paul. Their story and rivalry is over. There's honestly no real good narrative reason or stakes in Ash beating him again. On the other hand, Alain is the one recurring rival that Ash never got to beat and the one that handed him what's arguably his most contested League loss, so a rematch between Ash and Alain has a whole lot more weight to it and would garner far more excitement from the average fan of the Pokemon anime than a rematch with Paul would.
Agreed. Time for Ash to get his long-awaited rematch with Alain and settle the score.
 

A Wild Luxray

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Agreed. Time for Ash to get his long-awaited rematch with Alain and settle the score.
To this day I STILL think forcing Ash to lose to Alain in the Kalos League finals was the worst writing decision the writers ever made. A win against Alain won't fix it, but it will still be immensely satisfying to see Ash finally get that win over Alain and show the world he is stronger than Alain.
 
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