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The apparent decline of Evil Teams

Sai

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Reminder the Magma/Aqua finale was a measly 2 parter where neither Steven or Rayquaza showed up, Maxie and Archie got introduced in the same eps with no appearances beforehand, and the animation during the Groudon/Kyorge battle was really bad even for 2005 standards.

I would have killed when I was a young teen to have that arc handled like the later villain team arcs. My generation got screwed over.
 
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I think we've had a bit of a misunderstanding here. True, I guess the whole point of villains is that they do bad guy stuff.
Yes. Forgive me english is not my first language so maybe i wasn’t clear enough.

But not every narrative needs an outright villainous antagonist, and not every antagonist needs to be a villain: Team Skull are definitely antagonistic, but they aren't villains and don't need to be because that's not what their arc is about. Just because a story isn't outright good vs evil it doesn't mean it's bad. An antagonist isn't badly written just because they're not outright villainous. The point of an antagonist isn't necessarily that they have to be the villain to the protagonist's hero, the point of an antagonist is just that they have to act in opposition to the hero, and villainy isn't always required for that (especially in stories where the protagonist is the villain, which can and absolutely do happen).
True but a distinction between Good vs Evil needs to exist. Even in stories like death note where the MC is the villain, the antagonist is a force of good balancing it out. If our hero is on the path of righteousness then the one opposing him must walk in the opposite direction. Even the ‘misunderstood victim of society’ must do something unpleasant to keep the story moving. An antagonist who does no evil is simply inferior to one who does.
Well, in that case, if you didn't actually want to add anything to the thread's actual discussion topic, why did you bring up something so off left field? What does death being "dumbed down" in your eyes have to do with how the plots of villainous teams are handled?
The truth is i don’t know. Maybe because i felt like someone had to say it, pokemon never had good villains.
 

Hidden Mew

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Reminder the Magma/Aqua finale was a measly 2 parter where neither Steven or Rayquaza showed up, Maxie and Archie got introduced in the same eps with no appearances beforehand, and the animation during the Groudon/Kyorge battle was really bad even for 2005 standards.

I would have killed when I was a young teen to have that arc handled like the later villain team arcs. My generation got screwed over.
Yeah, that was pretty bad. I still remember being so confused as to how both teams got a hold of Groudon and Kyogre when I first saw those episodes. They weren't exactly incompetent, but Team Magma and Aqua didn't really have any major victories that made the idea that they'd both get powerful Legendary Pokemon believable. It was sudden, jarring and was really only done to quickly setup the two parter. We didn't even find out for sure that both teams had disbanded until right before the Hoenn Grand Festival. It was treated like such an afterthought and that is just terrible.

I actually kind of liked that they brought back Lance. I thought that was a nice continuity nod, it was nice to see that he had been able to train the Shiny Gyarados and it kind of made sense given his role in the Lake of Rage two parter. That being said, removing Steven entirely still probably wasn't the best move, especially when he was treated more like a character of the day as opposed to a Champion. That was a huge reason why XY went all out with establishing Steven as the Champion and giving him more of a role in the Team Flare arc, along with just having more OR/AS promotion in general.

Not all of the later villain team arcs are great. The Aether Foundation arc is probably one of my biggest problems with SM the more I think about it. But I don't think any other villain team arc was as poorly handled as Team Manga/Aqua was. Even Team Plasma had factors beyond their control as to what they could with them and the Episode N arc was still one of the more well received aspects of BW.
 
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I would argue the problems in narrative structures trace all the way back to the games themselves. Team Aqua and Magma were not particularly nuanced and were generally more excuses until the remake. Team Aqua is infamous for trying to expand the seas with rain, a concept that would not work because most elementary students know about the water cycle.

In terms of the anime, I would argue the lack of a good villain arc has a plethora of reasons: iconic status (Team Rocket), poor pacing (Magma, Aqua, and even Galactic), trying to make merge two story threads into one storyline and failing (Plasma), altering characters' personalities (Aether), and underdeveloping the lieutenants (Flare).

These flaws are not exclusive to the anime either. Many of these flaws originated in the games. Flaws are enlarged because of the medium shift from video game to anime.
 

Konja7

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isn’t shounen aimed at 12~18 year old boys? That’s technically for teenagers/young adults, not exactly “kid friendly” like pokemon. Also JoJo’s bizarre adventure moved to ultra jump in 2005 which is a seinen magazine.
Shonen has a big range of age. There are Shonen aimed at 10 years old boys.

It is important to mention that the levels of violence that can be shown to children in Japan are higher.

For example, Pokemon Adventures manga is a Kodomo (for kids), but it still shows some pretty dark things.
 

marshiyanmisuta

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Shounen is manga primarily targeting 12-18 years olds (similar to superhero comics), but many of these manga have anime adaptations targeting children, (think of spiderman and batman cartoons) and there is also kodomo anime inspired by and using the shounen tropes (similar to how Ben 10 inspired by superhero comics).
 
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