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Thoughts on Pokémon Journeys in 2021

FinnishPokéFan92

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Welp, the last episode of Pokémon Journeys for 2021 has now aired. What kind of thoughts do you have from the anime for this year?



PS. As a reminder, the episodes that premiered in Japan in 2021 include those from JN050 to JN092.
 
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Eitarou

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It sucked. Mostly. Journeys has improved on some of its flaws, but its more glaring problems are still unfortunately prevalent despite the show suggesting it might fix them.
 

Kurolegacy

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It sucked. Mostly. Journeys has improved on some of its flaws, but its more glaring problems are still unfortunately prevalent despite the show suggesting it might fix them.
Sadly, I don’t think we’re ever gonna quite get rid of the glaring problems with Journeys within this current series. They’ll polish it, but will never quite stand on the same footing as previous series.
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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Note: Added an appropriate tweet to the opening post.
 

Orchid

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I sincerely liked it. I was really struggling with watching Journeys during 2020... but in 2021, I thought it had some great moments, especially over the summer. It did still go through some rough spots, and I won't deny the issues that it still has — but in my opinion, it's improved significantly in its second year. I personally enjoyed Journeys more in 2021 than I ever have before, and I'm really looking forward to how it's going to go heading into 2022.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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Some of the best and worst episodes of JN in here. Mostly bad aside from the Drizzile and Vaporeon one. Project Mew has been incredible, WCS sucks
 
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Sai

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Definitely better than the first year. The battles and animation has gotten much better, the PWC is better handled, and Go and Koharu have gotten better focus.

Besides that when they do give Ash's Pokémon focus they are well handled, it's just a shame the gaps are so long. The returning characters has also been a treat with Iris, Gary, Dawn, etc. returning and Korrina playing a role in the story. I'm looking through the episode titles of the last months and we've had a string of consistently good episodes besides a few.
 

A Wild Luxray

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Journeys has done very little to improve and its still plagued with many of the problems it had in 2020. Seeing characters like Gary, Iris, Volkner, Dawn, and Champion Cynthia has been great. Chloe got some nice episodes in this year and we might be looking at her becoming a coordinator. Project Mew was a better route to go for Goh's goal, though I wish they did it from the start rather than all these pointless captures. Some of which have been extremely controversial this year. Then there's stuff like that pest Grookey and Sobble's horrendous rushed development. PWC battles have gotten a little better, but stuff such as Sirfetch'd and Gengar jobbing have become a huge issue. Plus I'm sick of these battles where a Pokemon like Lucario gets tossed around like a ragdoll before landing a lucky critical hit. We still don't get much Pokemon interaction also. Journeys still is on its was to ranking as one of the worst series to date.
 

Sai

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Journeys has done very little to improve and its still plagued with many of the problems it had in 2020. Journeys still is on its was to ranking as one of the worst series to date.
It's interesting you say this when the rest of your post points out what has improved over this year. Yes there is still the overall problems of Go's captures/pokemon not getting proper development, but that's obviously going to stay the formula for him all series I assume. I also agree we could use more character interactions between Ash's team. But I feel everything else has improved tremendously.

Fillers have decreased, characters have returned multiple times in-series like Bea, Opal, Raihan, etc. let alone past character cameos. Ash's Pokémon do get some better focus now although of course not on the same level as past series. The animation during all the major battles has improved and many look as good as the best XY/SM fights just lacking the 3D camera. Koharu also feels more like a focused character than the mostly background character she was in the first year.

It's obvious Go's capture sprees are here to stay, but outside of that everything else has gone back to feeling like an actual series rather than the isolated filler-ish eps visiting old regions felt like in the first year.
 

Soniman

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let alone past character cameos.
This isn't even a positive anymore, from a Fandom perspective I don't think a single cameo has been looked back with any real fondness and people complain about their execution more than thinking how cool it was that so and so returned.

Your mileage may vary and the Fandom isn't a hive mind of course, heck I my self found them to be mostly fine I'm just saying using it as one of JN'S strong points is just gonna be highly contentious for most people.

6/10 this year was OK.
 

R1ke

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Started out mixed (50-64) but really picked up after 65 imo. We’ve gotten a lot more Ash focus, Goh’s goal, Chloe appearances better fillers, arcs, etc. Even cotds are good now (alola twins, haruhi, regina) or at least more memorable. TR hasn’t done much unfortunately though. But tbh taking them out of fillers had made them better since they can resolve plots more organically. Although some of the content didn’t stick the landing (like Ash vs Bea could’ve been better), we’re getting a lot less pointless filler nowadays. They just drop important events back to back. Overall heaps better than last year, if they started like this then then series would’ve been incredible. But I can’t blame them cause of the pandemic.
 

Sai

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This isn't even a positive anymore, from a Fandom perspective I don't think a single cameo has been looked back with any real fondness and people complain about their execution more than thinking how cool it was that so and so returned.

Your mileage may vary and the Fandom isn't a hive mind of course, heck I my self found them to be mostly fine I'm just saying using it as one of JN'S strong points is just gonna be highly contentious for most people.

6/10 this year was OK.
Yeah. The ironic thing is most past series cameos like Misty's AG ones or Dawn's BW ones were hardly executed any better than the ones now. For example if Misty showed up now just to hang in the background of an Oak's lab ep with Tracey and bond with a character in a cave like she did with Max, you'd see people complaining Misty "didn't do anything" by today's standards. Meanwhile the Dawn/Koharu bonding was done in almost the same manner as the Misty/Max one back in AG and this flew over people's heads.

Besides that getting to see the return of Gym leaders and champions I never thought we'd ever see again like Cynthia, Lance, Korrina, Drake, Chuck, Volkner, Iris and Drayden, soon Erika, etc. is icing on the cake.

Meanwhile you look back at Jasmine's cameo in DP where they put her in a Kenny episode of all things and she hardly did anything and people think that's better than what we have now, lol
 

Jewel the Quaxly

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I'm not going to try and pretend like I'll magically change my opinion on Journeys just because they start improving on their issues after a full year, but I appreciate it regardless.

There's less pointless filler present and there's a little more connectivity between episodes nowadays, which is one of my biggest gripes with the series. Pokemon interaction is nowhere near the level it's been compared to previous series but at least they seem to be trying? Chloe is finally doing more things and she actually feels like a main character now.

Overall, I think it's a mixed bag. Some issues it's improved on, like actually taking advantage of the world tour aspect and bringing back old characters; but others it could use some work, like how the starters are being handled.

At least it's better than whatever the hell happened last year. Project Mew alone is more interesting than the Darkest Day arc, so I guess kudos to Journeys for that.
 

Nicolas721

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January to April was 2020 part 2 or even worse. It had the Farfetch'd Arc, which is possibly Journeys' best Pokemon arc so far (through the bar isn't really high) but also lots of filler, lots of Kanto, Chloe being sidelined again, and lots of unnecessary Goh controversies where he just gets stuff without much effort.

April to now isn't perfect but is a great improvement. Returns from past series have increased to almost once a month, which is fantastic since there's always someone to talk about, Project Mew is a fun idea with decent episodes and great characters, there's way less Kanto than before and the few fillers that there are sound interesting on paper (I haven't watched them though). As for the flaws, it still feels like Ash is going too quickly through the PWC rankings without much conflict and that rivals just magically appear to him, Sinnoh two-parters felt improvised, and there was a gigantic drought of Galar content to the point that Leon and Bea were absent for most of the year.
 

SonansuMan

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It’s been a mixed bag, although I think it’s still much better than 2020’s batch and they actually have fixed a lot of issues I had with the series beforehand

  • Project Mew has helped give Goh more of a plausible way to receive development while also adding to the overarching plot to the series (+)
  • Chloe is more prominent as a character and has actually gotten more interactions with Ash (+)
  • Ash’s team gets slightly more showcases outside of battling/character development (+)
  • Majority of fillers have actually been fairly creative in plot (+)
  • Neat cameos from returning characters (+)
  • Really great battles to come out of the PWC (+)
  • The Gatcha Machine is slowly being phased out of existence (+)
  • Series as a whole feels less episodic (+)
  • Animation has improved (+)
  • James has a Pokémon now!….ish (+)
  • Less showings of Ash battling trainers outside of feature episodes (-)
  • Certain characters went from being prominent to next to non existent or sidelined (Mimey, Yamper, Cinderace, Sobble until it evolved into Inteleon) (-)
  • Lack of memorable/strong TR appearances (only 15 appearances out of 42 episodes this year :cry:) (-)
  • Not many good showings for Gengar (-)
  • Galar could still use more showings (-)
  • Grookey is hard to like (in addition to the incredibly contrived way he was introduced) and only makes me miss Raboot even more (-)
 
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