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Would the anime be as successful today if they replaced Ash early on?

The Pokemon Observer
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@pokemon fan 132. You are missing a point here. The OP's question was what would happened if Ash was replaced before the start of Johto saga, and where the Johto saga is now about the story of a new trainer completely different from Ash. So referring to the complaining of Misty being replaced after the Johto saga, and that it is only one single character being replaced but not the entire group, is really irrelevant.

For the reason of why exchanging Goku to Gohan in Dragonballz received so much complaints, is because during that time, Dragonball series had ran for more than 10 years. Goku had already iconized, so replacing him with a different protagonist is rather unacceptable for the audience.
For any anime series, the longer it had run, the more difficult it will become to eliminate the protagonist. When it run up to certain point, it will become technically impossible.
Even for me, I do agreed that it is now impossible to replace Ash after 17 years. He is unfortunately became the icon of the anime, despite that many people getting bored of him. In fact, it had already became impossible after Johto before Heonn, as during that time the anime had ran for more than 5 years, which already fixate itself to be a long-running anime by that time.

But in the case of as early as before the start of Johto, so after the Orange Island saga, the anime was merely ran for 116 episodes, roughly little bit more than 2 years. So it is not impossible to replace Ash back at that time. Rather, that is really the best time to replace Ash, as the anime had not yet become too long to the point of protagonist becoming fixture of the Pokemon Anime.

The animes that replace protagonist, especially Yu-Gi-Oh and Beyblade, they have the problem of the first saga being too long, making the protagonist and the main group of the first series becoming the icon of the franchise. The nostalgia within the audience group will also be much greater.
But, for the yearly anime series that a complete new story is told after roughly 52 episodes, there just doesn't exist the problem of the very first protagonist of the very first saga being iconized. Although it is still true that the first protagonist have a special place in the audience's heart, but they will not become the sole icon to represent the entire franchise. The nostalgia issue within the audience will also be not that great compare to anime series having super long first saga. Also, about the rating issues, it is true that generally the second saga's rating seldom surpass the first saga, with the exception of several few selected series having very successful second saga. But when you look into the bigger picture, ratings actually fluctuate for each different saga within a series, there exist possibilities that future sagas having higher ratings than the first saga. An one-time low rating is not proof of the franchise is doing poorly.


And you are also missing the second point here. The meaning of replacing protagonist is not merely exchange the physical body but keeping the same personality and mental mind, follow the exact same footstep and having exact same objective like the previous protagonist. It is replacing every settings. The physical looks, mental minds and personalities, Pokemon he/she will possess, story plot, friends that will tag along, trainers and persons he/she will encounter, places where he/she will go, villains he/she will battle, methods and mannerism of how he/she will battle, relationships between each characters, reasons and goals of his/her journey, the achievements, timeline and world geography, etc. They will all be different. No one ever said a trainer travels the world is only for the reason of entering Pokemon League. Just look at the Pokemon Special manga.

And in order to exchange protagonist and hence exchange to a complete new story, very obviously the previous story must be finished. No, not written off as null, but rather give a plausible ending. For all those anime series that exchange protagonist, the story of the previous protagonist are basically "completed", there is just no reason to establish a new story on the same protagonist.
So in case of Ash Ketchum, finishing Orange League is really IMO the best time, where that seems plausible to provide an ending to his story. And then very obviously, the last several episodes of OI need to have a complete different story plot in order to establish the ending.

Don't you see the problem of exchanging Misty after Johto, is that 1) she was left on a sour note, 2) in most audience's eyes back at that time, Ash, Misty and Brock are treat as one unity, eliminating any one of them is a poor move. If need to be eliminated, then the best is all three are eliminated, hence meaning finish off Ash's story.

Keeping only Ash for the purpose of relating to the old series is an absolute poor and awkward move, and it is also miserable for the audience as well following him for so long but yet unable to see an ending of him. As you had browsed the Anime section of not only Bulbagarden, but also other Pokemon forums as well, you should see quite a large portion of the causal viewers of anime still watching it today not because they love Ash, but merely wanted to see the ending. They are not interested in how he struggles during his journey, they tune in to watch it just for a 25min brief entertainment, and if the show cannot entertain them, they just leave. There are just fewer and fewer religious followers of Pokemon anime every successive year. Hoping for an ending =/= Loving Ash.

Also, the statement of kids prefer naive, absent-minded, hotheaded and stubborn Idiot Hero protagonists is completely an opinion. There are so many kids anime protagonist that doesn't have any of those characteristics, but loved by many.
You should rationalize your argument with facts and statistics if you want to be persuasive.


Replacing protagonist and providing a complete new story saga IMO is rather a clever move. But the point is, it needs to be done at the early stage of the anime series, establish such anime formula by continuously exchanging protagonist in future saga as well, such that to implant that formula into the audience's mind, and eventually audience will get used to it and will not complain.
 
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It's hard to say if it'd cause people to like it better or hate it more, but I know for sure that shifting casts might've kicked Pikachu's status as mascot of franchise.
 
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To クリスタル:
I understand your point, but remember what i said about just one season being more than enough to invoke in viewer strong attachment and developed care toward character? To the point of not being able to imagine series of certain franchise without him/her around?

Well Pokemon is one of those anime. In many cases more popular and widespreared worldwide animated series are, it will become harder to replace main protagonist without any repercussions and possible long term consequences.

Not always, but in good chunk of cases this constatation holds lot of truth behind it. Pokemon series when they debuted were groundbreaking and in many people eyes innovating in field of introducing magical world where human and pokemon coexist being implemented battling as some sort of sports, along with various other activities for which they could be used. Imprinting in people mind idea of adventure continuity based series centralized around 10 year old boy(Ash Ketchum) and his friends traveling around the world, catching various pokemon , meeting various people and learning about different customs growing mentally and physically.

Even after 116 episodes Ash became basically embodiment of pokemon anime to fans on global scale. He and Pikachu already by that point reached such iconic status and popularity that removing him that quickly could quite possibly leave negative long term consequences.

To the point of pokemon series not even living up to 17 years. This can be noticed when Brock was replaced after Kanto with Tracey causing backlash among audience because of leaving, although successor failure to appeal to viewers contributed in this stae of mind being developed too.

But lets take a look at other shows which constantly go through reboots. First which comes to mind is Digimon. When Tai, Sora, Joe etc got returned in favor of Davis, Yolei, Cody most people who got into franchise with first series started to lose interest. Being more interested and invested in first main group not caring or developing liking toward new cast in Digimon adventure 02. Which in returned generated lower ratings and caused series to become less popular than its predecessor.

Already after 52 episodes first cast brought to franchise so much identity and charisma, that it was very hard for new series to step out of their shadow and gain people symphaty or devotion toward new story and characters.


Same applies to Beyblade. Granted Tyson and older crew lasted for over 150 episodes, but thats not that much longer than Ash would have lasted in case of getting boot after Orange Islands.

Difference of 30+ episodes dont play much of role in how much audience will become attached to main characters.

And yet when Beyblade Metal Fusion came in following and people interest for Ginkga, Kyoya, Kenta etc. dwindled. Not reaching same level of fame and success like original Beyblade series with Tyson as lead accomplished and engraved in people minds.

This examples show how even attempt of replacing well eastablished character after short life span can lead to unnecessary problems, negative feedback from audience and in general lower hype for forthcoming sagas.

Its even redundant to say how pokemon anime is in entirely different league than anime like Digimon, Yugioh or Beyblade. Having behind itself much higher popularity and success being one of those rare shows which even had enough background and people interest to last for 17 years and still going. Despite all mishaps, poor moves and mistakes made from writing and production team.

On good part reasoning is because one of main charms pokemon series have lies in being supposed to be treated as entity based story. Following journey of one main hero and his friends, doing build up on Ash story going forward delivering appeal and uniqueness other shows which regularly make revamps never achieve..

Since its much, much more rewarding for audience to follow long term journey of one character and anime set in same timeline and universe being imbued with continuity. Delivering excitement, appreciation and emotionally compelling characteres in who people would recognize one aspect of themselves. Have someone to root for, feel sorry about his misfortune and want to follow his adventures and growth in achieving dreams. Just like they themselves grow too with time.

Like i brought up in my first post thats one of main reasons why such long running shows with same cast like One Piece or Naruto are incomparably more honored and succesful than anime which replace main hero after couple of years.

Poor quality, abandonment of previous characters with only Ash kept around like they never existed mucking on their legacy and continuity or wasted plots are factors which are turning pokemon compared to other long running shows into joke.

Not disagreeing with that, but Ash and Pikachu existence alone are reason why pokemon series are even still airing bringing enough money, sales and viewers to warrant it going on for such a long time.

Because one common ground between afore mentioned anime and pokemon is still in having one defining, stable hero protagonist with who people can identify anime with, form emotional bond and allure new fans into it.

Giving them reason to stick around for multiple future generations.

Additionally forums alone dont give valid insight in how much certain character enjoy popularity. For example Bulbgarden has 55,051 members. Out of that number not even 2000 are active coming here on daily basis. Out of that number subtract those who never watch shows being interested just in games, cards, writing fanfiction etc not having interest in discussing anime and you end up with rather small number.

Which fail to sufficiently represent how much Ash as character is in reality liked and if his existence for all this time helped in pokemon being more succesful as show than it would have been if he was discarded for new protagonist before Johto came out.

Another important factor which shouldn't be ignored is; how longer character stays and as more of new fans come into the show getting familiarized with them their popularity and supporters but also amount of complaints will continue to increase because of simply staying for long enough to build higher base of likers and dislikers. Which plays factor into why bigger number of complaints can be found in Ash case now than it was let say situation 10 years ago.

As for whoever comes in Ash place being just sugarcoated version of in nutshell same character. There are more implications which refer to this scenery than not. If pokemon was show based on manga, light novel, came out as anime only product than yes it would have predispositions to change surrounding and plot to such degree that completely different story and aim to obtain is implemented for new character to follow. Function differently and have different path to follow.

But its not.
Pokemon is anime based on video games. Its main purpose is to be their marketing tool promoting new pokemon and quests game introduce. Especially nowadays when differences between anime and games in making story of former more independent and original is smaller than ever before(under Shudo command that was tried to mitigate and avoid to certain extent being more individual in storytelling).

How does this reflect on main protagonist of pokemon series? Since gyms and entering pokemon league is main quest in games, whoever replaced Ash would be doing exact same thing he did. Since Pikachu is ultra popular being not just anime but whole franchise main mascot his inclusion as next protagonist carry along pokemon would be mandatory.

Ever since Takeshi Shudo reign and afterwards writers consider necessity to have comic relief villains in story which would deliver humor, strife and goofy escapades enriching on story and aspect of someone journey. So recurring not meant to be taken seriously antagonists(like TR) would be present in that new protagonit story as well.

And im inclined to believe how his personality would be more similar to Ash's than some would expect. Because if there is one thing which many show main shonen protagonists have in common whether its Goku, Luffy, Tyson, Dan(from Bakugan), Yuma etc is in : being enthusiastic, goofy, sometime bewildered, stubborn, impulsive, naive and determining spirit of never gfiving up etc etc.

All of this can apply to Ash making his replacement even more redundant and pointless. Due to limitations and narrow minded formula pokemon series follow and has no intention of changing.

And if it would changed for the sake of arguing after Orange Islands with writers putting more effort and quality int it, in that case they might as well keep proven to be succesful and liked protagonist(Ash)making more concrete and meaningful development out of character and story.

Bringing me to conclusion how without Ash pokemon series success and popularity even if he was replaced after Orange Islands would be lower than it was situation with him around. Mainly because of way writers and director presented this show and characters ever since decision to continue airing anime after Kanto was brought up. Designing plot and story supposed to last for very long period of time. Integrating Ash and original crew in every pore of this show in such way, that it developed in people mind image of being crucial and irreeplaceable protagonists.

Sites like Youtube and forums aren't really the best or accurate way to gauge information like that. I've heard of people who don't like the spin-off series and only like DM. In some cases, it sounds like they've never watched them or are just basing them off of jokes the abridged series makes about them, but in other cases, they don't like the characters, the storyline and/or duels, which are better and more valid reasons to dislike them in my opinion. I've honestly haven't heard of people who made those kinds of complains about the decision to replace the DM cast. They may not have liked any of the other casts as much as the DM cast, but I really haven't heard people in the fanbase say that they should have kept them for another series, or for every series after DM instead of replacing them. In my experience, people have said that changing the cast was for the best and it really does work in the franchise's favor in terms of providing new and different storylines. They certainly have been able to do more with a new cast every few years than they could have if they kept the DM cast around for over ten years.
Fair enough, but when you notice same line of thinking repeating itself over and over again more than you would expect it and assign to pure coincidence, is moment when there exist enough evidence and indication to create strong inference. Of online community giving rough picture of what kind of mood and opinion in general may prevail among fanbase in general.

I don't know why you havent run across complaints about new series or fans rather wanting that original cast for DM series is kept instead of Yugioh franchise doing reboot with its animated shows. Perhaps we looked at different places, followed what people say at different time and periods etc. But im only giving sincere observation and what i run across myself.

Im not sure how much on table original DM cast could bring if stayed foir 10 years either, but as writer you never know if you will find motivation and enough creativity to warrant continuation of development of story and characters you created. Developing ton of new material and take them forward.

Like Eiichiro Oda did for One Piece cast abandoning idea of concluding series after 5 years doing continuation. And now more than 17 years later One Piece still has exact same characters introduced in 1997, going very strong.

Again, going primarily based on what people say online isn't the best way to determine this kind of information. Besides that, this topic is about if the anime would have been successful if Ash was replaced early on, not whether or not the anime would still be popular. Like I said before, being popular and being successful aren't necessarily the same thing. Both the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series are successful, but neither would be considered popular, at least not to the point they were back in their prime. While Ash and Pikachu were established as the main mascots of the anime series, I don't think it would have been too difficult for the series to still remain successful with a new main character every new generation. Honestly, I'm not surprised that they didn't do it and I'm fine that they didn't, but I think that there's at least a good chance that it could have worked out if they had done that early enough.
Ok, but popularity of anime can be reflection of whether series are doing succesful or not. Because for success if any product, show, merchandise customers, viewers, players and what not are required being crucial for success.

Reason why im giving to this theory doubt lies in stable protagonist with who people can associate anime series having much bigger advantage over temporary ones. Increasing sense of security among viewers, opening ground toward more consistent storyline which is designed to last for long period of time.

Creating around itself recognizable brand, positive image in having main face of some anime seriee, charisma in bringing constantly stream of new viewers thanks to familiarity and name made for himself amiong not just avid pokemon viewers, but even those who aren't interested in pokemon in this case. Recognition established so well on global basis that everyone and their mother knows for what Ash and Pikachu stands for.

For example when i used to ask people about pokemon, they didnt knew nothing about it. But they knew about Ash and Pikachu immediatelly thinking of those two when this show is brought up. Because of such widespreaded recognition and mascot status Ash character presented reliable and proven way to bring hype, promotional value and excitement which could allure more of customers and viewers into it.

Such kind of attachment people couldn't really develop and become affiliated with main chaacter if he was constantly replaced. Preventing people to form same level of connection with anime character. Thus bringing risk of fans not being interested and eager to try out new series and follow new protagonist.

p.s. Apologies for bringing Misty in conversation, i only used her as example to underline how characters to who people grew attached and relate themselves to can leave enough big mark on viewers and anime. That their leaving will not necessarily go without any consequence. Which is what im advocating in Ash situation as one of factors in why i dont think pokemon show would have same success if he was replaced after OI.
 
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I'm kind of curious about how popular Ash is in Japan. How does he rank in character polls? I know that Pikachu is the mascot of the entire franchise, but is Ash heavily promoted in Japan as well? I'm also kind of curious as to how Ash ranks in comparison to protagonists from other series. It would be interesting to compare and contrast. I know that in America people either love Ash or are getting sick of him, and it's usually the latter for most people I talk to.

The reason why I asked is because in my opinion, Ash is one of those types of characters who's personality shines best when he's in a group with other people. When Ash is by himself he's not nearly as interesting and I'm sure people would be bored if Ash just traveled alone during the series. Alone, his personality really doesn't grab me the way that someone like Luffy or Goku would. In a way I guess that reflects the games because Red is a silent protagonist with no personality at all, but of course in an animated series the protagonist has to have an interesting personality so that viewers will continue to watch them and root for them.

What makes Ash a likable character to me is that he cares deeply about Pokemon and even though he can be naive and make mistakes, he does learn from them and continues to grow. Although he's not my favorite protagonist, I still enjoy his character and watching him grow.

It's been mentioned that replacing Ash would mean that other protagonists would have the same personality as him. Jimmy did have a few similar traits as Ash, but if I could imagine an entire series about him then his personality to me would be a mix of Ash and Jaden from YGO GX, and usually those types of characters (the hyperactive, confident type) are the ones that end up being my favorite, so I would probably like Jimmy more as a main character if the Johto series starred him.
 
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Fair enough, but when you notice same line of thinking repeating itself over and over again more than you would expect it and assign to pure coincidence, is moment when there exist enough evidence and indication to create strong inference. Of online community giving rough picture of what kind of mood and opinion in general may prevail among fanbase in general.

I don't know why you havent run across complaints about new series or fans rather wanting that original cast for DM series is kept instead of Yugioh franchise doing reboot with its animated shows. Perhaps we looked at different places, followed what people say at different time and periods etc. But im only giving sincere observation and what i run across myself.
The problem with using online sites to base the opinions of the general fanbase is that you're looking at people who are well outside the target audience of the show, so their opinions wouldn't really matter to the writers and creative team. If the target audience didn't care for the new characters at all, then they probably wouldn't have continued to replace them every few years. It's also a pretty limited amount of fans compared to the target audience. Not to mention you could be gathering the same information from the same people under different usernames.

I'm not saying that you aren't being sincere with your observations. I just haven't seen a lot of people complain about how characters have been replaced. I've checked a couple of Yu-Gi-Oh! forums and blogs and while there are people who don't care for some or all of the spin-offs, none of them have said that replacing the cast every few years is a bad thing or that they should have kept the DM cast. Technically speaking, there wasn't a reboot until arguably Zexal since the first two spin-off series were in the same universe as DM. They never explained if that was the case for Zexal too, but it seems much more like its set in its own universe.

pokemon fan 132 said:
Im not sure how much on table original DM cast could bring if stayed foir 10 years either, but as writer you never know if you will find motivation and enough creativity to warrant continuation of development of story and characters you created. Developing ton of new material and take them forward.

Like Eiichiro Oda did for One Piece cast abandoning idea of concluding series after 5 years doing continuation. And now more than 17 years later One Piece still has exact same characters introduced in 1997, going very strong.
One Piece is an exception rather than a standard. Very few writers would be able to not only keep the same characters from the start, but also add in new characters to the cast and make it work. They easily could have done something more with the DM cast if they really wanted to or if they really wanted to make Yugi the face of the franchise like they've done with Ash, but I don't think that the writer was interested in doing that and in my opinion, that was for the best. The DM cast was pretty much done, especially the main characters, and keeping them around for another series, let alone for four, would have been really stretching things. Not to mention giving new characters allowed them to promote more different cards than if they just added onto the DM cast and try out different storyline ideas.

pokemon fan 132 said:
Ok, but popularity of anime can be reflection of whether series are doing succesful or not. Because for success if any product, show, merchandise customers, viewers, players and what not are required being crucial for success.
Popularity can be a reflection of whether the series is successful or not, but not in all cases. The previous Pokemon anime series were successful, even though it isn't really popular. That's why I said that being popular and being successful aren't necessarily the same thing.

pokemon fan 132 said:
Reason why im giving to this theory doubt lies in stable protagonist with who people can associate anime series having much bigger advantage over temporary ones. Increasing sense of security among viewers, opening ground toward more consistent storyline which is designed to last for long period of time.

Creating around itself recognizable brand, positive image in having main face of some anime seriee, charisma in bringing constantly stream of new viewers thanks to familiarity and name made for himself amiong not just avid pokemon viewers, but even those who aren't interested in pokemon in this case. Recognition established so well on global basis that everyone and their mother knows for what Ash and Pikachu stands for.

For example when i used to ask people about pokemon, they didnt knew nothing about it. But they knew about Ash and Pikachu immediatelly thinking of those two when this show is brought up. Because of such widespreaded recognition and mascot status Ash character presented reliable and proven way to bring hype, promotional value and excitement which could allure more of customers and viewers into it.

Such kind of attachment people couldn't really develop and become affiliated with main chaacter if he was constantly replaced. Preventing people to form same level of connection with anime character. Thus bringing risk of fans not being interested and eager to try out new series and follow new protagonist.

p.s. Apologies for bringing Misty in conversation, i only used her as example to underline how characters to who people grew attached and relate themselves to can leave enough big mark on viewers and anime. That their leaving will not necessarily go without any consequence. Which is what im advocating in Ash situation as one of factors in why i dont think pokemon show would have same success if he was replaced after OI.
Of course people would think of Ash and Pikachu when the series was brought up. They were the main characters when the series was at its peak of popularity, so most people would have at least heard of them because of that. Most people still would think of Yugi/Atem when someone mentions Yu-Gi-Oh!, especially if they aren't familiar with the spin-off series. I don't think that having a stable mascot lead is really that important for people to get into the show. I'm sure that some people do, but I don't think it would have immediately turned off the target audience at least if Ash was replaced early enough.
 
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@pokemon fan 132:

I don't see what makes Pokemon anime so special that it should be isolate itself from becoming a series anime like Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon, Gundam, Pretty Cure, or even the non-anime tokusatsu Kamen Rider.

Making into a series anime have the advantage of always being fresh. We as the audience will not be bored. In case that one single saga is uninteresting, audience can always ignore it temporary, come back to watch the next saga hoping for good. Also for the producer side, having a small numbers of scriptwriters to write the story plot will increase the quality of the story, and more easier for discussion. Currently the Pokemon anime had a fairly large group of scriptwriters, where each write a specific part of the show. I doubt that they hardly consult with each other and discuss deeply the future plot of Pokemon anime.

You are rather underestimating the followers who are hooked onto one anime. When a show that ones loved so much received a sequel (even it is not sequel, but new anime with the same setting), who of the already existing fans loving the prequel will not watch it, or at the very least give it a try to watch the first several episodes of the new saga?
When that second saga is entertaining and acceptable, fans will then also looking forward to the next coming up saga, where now fans change from temporarily to permanently follow that series.


BTW, elongating the anime is not guaranteed to become successful and popular. There were a bunch of long-running anime that are not widely known, some are not even dubbed or subbed outside Japan.
Keroro Gunsou, a long running anime of 358 episodes ran for 7 years. Although most reviewers said it is very funny for a good laugh, but not much people outside Japan knew it.
Kateikyoushi Hitman REBORN!, 203 episodes ran for 4 years. Actions and settings are good, and many said it is similar to Bleach and Naruto, but unfortunately not a lot of people outside Japan knew about it. Though, even inside Japan, this anime is not really that well-known.
Toriko (2011), a Shonen Jump anime for 147 episodes last for 3 years. It seems like it is dubbed in America, but I just don't see lot of people outside Japan talks about this show.

And for all the long-running animes such as Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Inuyasha, Fairy Tail, Gintama, Tennis no Ouji-sama, the above-mentioned anime as well, etc. All of them without exception experienced drop of scriptwriting quality after a year so when passing down half-way or two-third, where it is getting boring and not that entertaining to watch.
Consistent storyline is really not something that good to follow. Even the scriptwriter(s) and/or the original manga artist of that fictional work will have their imaginative stamina being drain out after writing the same story for more than 10 years.


One more thing, being successful is not the same thing as being popular. Sure popularity is one index to measure success, but there are more other things to measure success of an anime. View rate, ratings, financial profits, localization and dubbing in foreign language, etc. These are the more reliable measurable statistics to measure the success of an anime, rather than popularity which is something unmeasurable.
And not yet to mention, being well-known is not necessarily being popular and being loved. Being notorious is also another sense of being well-known.

Also, the rating of an anime is a score telling how entertaining an anime is, where it is not the same as view rate which shows how much people watch the show during the time it was broadcast on TV, and that view rate is heavily depending on what timeslot an anime is broadcast.
There are animes with high rating, but very low view rate because it is not broadcast during the "Golden Time Slot". And there are animes having high view rate because broadcast in Golden Time Slot, but with rather low rating. Being the exact same anime, but by changing the broadcast time can greatly increase the view rate.

For the Digimon series, despite that Digimon Adventure 02 did had rating lower than its prequel, but the next one Digimon Tamers actually had rating higher than previous two, also Digimon Savers received rating par with the first saga. Though, it is also fact that view rate decrease continuously, and for Digimon Xros Wars, because it changed to broadcast time slot of the non-Golden-Time, its view rate drastically decreased if compare to any of its predecessors. But still, it had rather high rating comparable to all its "successful" predecessors

But for the current Pokemon anime, it broadcasts in the same time slot starting from OS up until now XY, but still its view rate and rating are both decreasing, which is the best indication that it is performing poorly.


I agree with Hidden Mew as well, that a franchise doesn't need an only-one single character being the mascot to attract audience. BTW, the purpose of mascot is used to represent the franchise, but not to attract audience. If a show want more audience, it should work on the quality of the show itself, making it more entertaining to build up good reputation, so that when the one who doesn't know the show heard that it is recommendable by many others, the person will then try to watch it, and will become member of the fanbase if he/she is entertained by the show.
 
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I have no idea to be quite honest. I still like Ash but I wouldn't have minded him being replaced sooner or later. To be fair to Ash, I don't think there's a character alive that can keep a show running for 800 episodes.
 
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To クリスタル:
Its not about pokemon series being more special, but more accesible to audience. That was intention behind writers and creators of pokemon in first place in wanting to design show with well known and relatable protagonist. Protagonist which in honor of creator of pokemon franchise in general(Satoshi Tajiri)carries out its name and is main focus of series centralized around one protagonist, and his journey of becoming pokemon master.

To have people chance to explore through eyes of permanent character pokemon world, various customs, traditions and new pokemon. Have character which represents every young person hopes, dreams, adventurous spirit and innocent desires many of us as kids tend to have. Someone whose premise behind existence is in following life like on going story of one character and where his journey will take him. Journey which values more process of going through various challenges, quests, struggles and tests as way of someone getting there, rather than necessarily reachiung ultimate destination.

Because contrary to people belief around here advantage long running shows with same protagonist have over those which do constant reboots after every few years is in long lasting impact. Legacy and established reputation series have around themselves with their characters, plot and setting becoming synonym, representation of whole franchise or at least anime as one form of media which is extension of in this case pokemon conglomerate.

Premise behind this topic lies in presumption how by replacing Ash character early in pokemon history would allow for exploration of new characters, new stories, world building and different interactions. Possibly geberating higher success, better sales, better ratings and more popularity.

But conclusion doesnt guarantee to follow that premise, not at all.

Being new=/=necessarily better. It wont necessarily bring better storyline, more interesting characters, more interesting dreams for viewer to follow, background etc.

Especially in anime which has very linear, monotone and formulaic concept like pokemon does. Because at end of the day if someone else came after Ash during Johto and onwards would still do gym quest and try to become pokewmon master, Pikachu would be his main partner and his characterization would follow trope common for majority of shonen based anime protagonists. Since for some reason kids are able to connect and view such breed of protagonists as more heroic, "cooler" than rest in more cases than someone would expected.

Only reason why in pokemon adventures manga, specials like mega evolution side story festuring Alain have different setting, different atories and more liberty in what kind of pokemon, dreams and personality they might have is because all aforementioned things are already fulfilled through Ash.

Being new doesnt always make something fresh and more engaging to follow.
Needless to say who is to say how character which audience may find stale cannot become fresh and thrilling to follow again? This is typical case of underestimating long lasting characters which have background, established plots, to some extent molded characterization fulfilling prerequisites to go on bigger, more profound growth.

If we draw paralel with real life for example and say our car gets broken. Do we necessarily buy new one? No, especially if damage is small being more lucrative to go to mechanic paying repair and our vehicle becoming just as good as new. Rather than investing twice, even triple amount of money required to buy new one which may have design, engine performances and comfort of what doesn't suit our taste. Not delivering same pleasure like older vehicle did.

Same applies to literature and scriptwriting. Stale character and monotone storyline (thats such a subjective thing) can become enjoyable and interesting again. He can gain more depth and originality in characterization,. Make us learn about new things about thim, develop new fun interests and quirks bringing new exciting dimension to personality and restore lost charm or charisma which made us like someone in first place.

Moral of this lesson is: Dont change more than its needed, because it can easily backfire on you delivering worse results than those you already have.


Elongated shows with stable cast, long on going story and big history behind themseles dont always succeed in becoming succesful and popular. Which isn't surprising because even with ingenious story or characters in sea of competition out there, various other shows or manga fighting for people attention and inerest on market lot of things can go wrong. Depending not just on work quality;but artful advertizing, good time slot when it will be bvroadcasted and charismatic characters(good character isn't necessarily appealing character) if your work is going to become hit or just end as fiasco.

However one big and crucial advantage they have over those whigh exchange characters on consistent basis lies in setting predispositions in giving people reason to remain attracted toward show in folloewing protgonist they developed liking, grew attached to and put lot of their time, emotion and appreciation for character. Wanting to see in what new directions writers will take him, will all those struggles, accumulated knowledge, various people Ash met and cultures he experienced bring frit on table.

Not being done for nothing but leading their favorite somewhere and have belief of avhievements,m training and character development moding his personality and skills moving forward.

Repeated exchange of protagonists as consequence cause viewers to not form much of connnection to its characters and forming loyal fandom. Discouraging you from caring for character you as writer introduce in story.

And ultimately cause viewer to lose interest for anime as whole.

This can be best evidenced with Ash traveling companions in pokemon case. Because of high rate of cast changes leaving older ones forgotten in dust like they dont exist in this universe people over time became much less attached to anyone ever since Misty and May were replaced. Resulting in people not having that many characters in who they could emotionally invest, develop strong attachment and not be concerned over those they care about and like going away from main screen.

Deprived of chance to be explored to full potential, remain relevant to story, advance their own dreams and explore on various aspects of characterization breaking new grounds with them. Going once basics are passed onto more substantial growth(hardly ever happens with no climax and denuaement happening).

Ash is one of last ones which has chance to experience such growth, hence why so many older fans sticked with poknmon series for all this time keeping pokemon anime more popular than it would have been if we only relied on target audience.

If anything all those long running shows like Fairy Tail, Naruto, Bleach, Inuyasha Dragon ball etc allowed
to have on going plot which uses past as guidelines through which future is created unfolding out on unknown aspects of main storypoints and characters becoming more coimplex and multilayered as time goes on.

And based on overall enormous popularity and comments i read online for most of long lived protagonists from this anime(Goku, Ichigo Korosaki, Luffy, Nami, Kuchiki Rukia,Sakura and many others) long stay wasn't mistake but chance to explore characters and story more gaining more meat and depth over tme thus making it even more engaging to follow.

Granting them much bigger success and recognition than anime like Digimon, Beyblade, Yugioh, Gundam in reality have.

Accordingly to that when and how will writer run out of imagination and creative storylines vary from individual to individual. However if we go by assesment how, ;creativity is stream of consciousness, and as long in determined mind you find new inspiration and direction in which you wish to take characters and plot you created forward. Than in theory you can never run out of ideas.

Examples:
This can be evidenced with popular manga writers like Eiichiro Oda or Masashi Kishimoto, science or fantasy fiction writers like George RR Martin and most signature work "Song of Ice and Fire"(still going on), Steven Erikson with "Malazan Book of the Fallen" etc, etc.Achieving big fame and popularity through long on going stiry being characteristic for unique characters, peculiar settings and fresh, captivating story.

Or popular Scottish Physician and writer Arthur Conan Doyle for example. He was at some point bored of Scherlock Holmes he wrote for not finding enthusiasm to continue on deciding to end story by killing character. However thanks to public outcry and immense popularity he revived character in 1901. Coming up with a novel which would explain how he survived and coninue on with that same concept and character publishing over 56 stories and 4 novels with others after death continuing on this work. With quality not dropping maintaining and increasing its reputation.

With enough passion and enthusiasm as Spanish writer Miguel De Cervantes used to say:
"Sky is the limit."

Im starting to go of tangent, but my point is:
Long running shows with recognizable faces(like pokemon with Ash) can create behind themselves brand, legacy and reputation ensuring that they form behind themselves higher following, both attracting new viewers and keeping older ones because of those which played role in they childhood staying and growing . Maintaining interest among people and excitement to see those they like taken in new, unpredictable directions and where will wheel of destiny take them.

As well high reputation proving to have what it takes to make well defined, reliable and eventful series to follow. Being much, much more succesful than short lived series which constantly make new adaptaions using other media of franchise as source of material.

Which is why im inclined to believe how keeping Ash allowed pokemon series to become worldwide hit and create cult status among not just fans, but even people outside of pokemon franchise.

Bringing us to next inference:
Issue of pokemon anime being stuck in repetitive limbo doesn't come from Ash character but writers false sense of security how this approach can last forever overlooking how because of status quo interest in series is dropping. Not just because of repetitiveness, but also because of forgetting about past friends and their unfinished dreams like they are trash(many people abandoned pokemon because ex main characters are treated with no respect or recognition at all falling in oblivion once theyre replaced) and mutilated continuity.

Lastly, its easier to attract people into anime if it has somene iconic, mascot behind it which stands out for some show. Because of its recognizable status and popularity, just like Pikachu as main mascot of franchise in general largely helps in attracting new customers toward pokemon.

Because mascots fulfill initial mission of sparking interest among people to give anime chance and test it to see if it will suit their taste. Quality of writing; things like continuity,character development, substatial plot, innovation etc. All of that plays role only after someone getting into pokemon series determining if its worth his or her time to stick around. Or outright abandon it.

P.S.
Its pleasure debating with you. However i feel we are reaching point where discussion is starting to take marks of circular reasoning. So if you wish we can continue on with this, but im not quite sure if it will lead anywhere other than bringing us to starting point.

The problem with using online sites to base the opinions of the general fanbase is that you're looking at people who are well outside the target audience of the show, so their opinions wouldn't really matter to the writers and creative team. If the target audience didn't care for the new characters at all, then they probably wouldn't have continued to replace them every few years. It's also a pretty limited amount of fans compared to the target audience. Not to mention you could be gathering the same information from the same people under different usernames.

I'm not saying that you aren't being sincere with your observations. I just haven't seen a lot of people complain about how characters have been replaced. I've checked a couple of Yu-Gi-Oh! forums and blogs and while there are people who don't care for some or all of the spin-offs, none of them have said that replacing the cast every few years is a bad thing or that they should have kept the DM cast. Technically speaking, there wasn't a reboot until arguably Zexal since the first two spin-off series were in the same universe as DM. They never explained if that was the case for Zexal too, but it seems much more like its set in its own universe.
Well, i don't necessarily agree how people outside of target audience dont play any importance. At least not in all cases. For example Yugioh card game is primarily aimed at kids, but it was showed over the years how majority of players(especially in competitive scene at YCS, regional, ARG circuit events etc)are teenagers and adults in late twenties, even thrirties. Making huge number of customers which buy new cards.
Konami is well aware of that.

Same applies to anime series. With older viewers just like kids in case of following contributing to ratings, sales by buying products with their money interflowing in cashew of Konami company and influencing popularity through word of mouth and reviews.
Or in case of disappointment during transition(reboot) quitting with anime losing significant portion of watchers regardless of being outside of target demographic.

That doesnt add to forums being adequate representative of what may be general opinion about something. However when i see so many various, different people sharing same consensus about subject about reboots being mistake(mostly from those who dont watch new series) it awakens suspicion of being possibly more than just pure coincidence, outcry of only vocal minority. But reflection of how much higher number of people than expected may feel about it.

At leasts thats how i see it.

One Piece is an exception rather than a standard. Very few writers would be able to not only keep the same characters from the start, but also add in new characters to the cast and make it work. They easily could have done something more with the DM cast if they really wanted to or if they really wanted to make Yugi the face of the franchise like they've done with Ash, but I don't think that the writer was interested in doing that and in my opinion, that was for the best. The DM cast was pretty much done, especially the main characters, and keeping them around for another series, let alone for four, would have been really stretching things. Not to mention giving new characters allowed them to promote more different cards than if they just added onto the DM cast and try out different storyline ideas.
Maybe, maybe not. Although Naruto or Dragon ball for example are known for keeping same cast for very long period. I guess whether same cast could work out by staying for years and develop over long period of time depends on writer motivation, enough resources and of course skill to pull that of. With skill being subjected to change and improve through experience, inspiration and new tasks you set infront of yourself when writing book, manga, novel etc.

You can always though do more with character in storyline if you have right ideas of how to take him forward and use already established plots as vector on which future is build and explored. Something which especially well applies in Ash case from pokemon being ironic how much he is in reality unexplored as character or how little his story is elaborated upon despite long stay. Or many of replaced companions.

In some people mind DM cast could have been developed more and gain possibly more depth as charactersm add new texture to storyline enriching it through new idea and challenges as part of growing up(for ie i know quite a few which craved for more being done about Joey and Kaiba rivalry with Yugi which still technically existed).

While to some everyone got enough and they didn't see need for continuation.

It all comes down to personal interpretation, taste and standard of what in person mind can be considered satisfying amount of charxcter development and fleshing out learning about his past and story enough.

Im pretty neutral toward it, although it would be kinda cool if grown up Yugi became mentor like to Jaden, but i digrees.

Of course people would think of Ash and Pikachu when the series was brought up. They were the main characters when the series was at its peak of popularity, so most people would have at least heard of them because of that. Most people still would think of Yugi/Atem when someone mentions Yu-Gi-Oh!, especially if they aren't familiar with the spin-off series. I don't think that having a stable mascot lead is really that important for people to get into the show. I'm sure that some people do, but I don't think it would have immediately turned off the target audience at least if Ash was replaced early enough.
I respect your line of thinking and can understand from where your coming from. However i still believe how stable mascot offers secure, stable representative, brand eatablished about anime making it easier for new kids to come in to show. Because of promotional value and recognizable, proven to be succesful image such long time leads make for themselves. Just like Pikachu makes it easier because of famuiliarity to attract kids into pokemon franchise, i believe how Ash in anime case to extent performs similar thing.

Or as old saying goes: A new broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows the corners.

One of reasons why i believe pokemon wouldn't be to same degree popular if it didn't had permanent driving force behind it.

So to each their own.;-)
 
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Well, i don't necessarily agree how people outside of target audience dont play any importance. At least not in all cases. For example Yugioh card game is primarily aimed at kids, but it was showed over the years how majority of players(especially in competitive scene at YCS, regional, ARG circuit events etc)are teenagers and adults in late twenties, even thrirties. Making huge number of customers which buy new cards.
Konami is well aware of that.

Same applies to anime series. With older viewers just like kids in case of following contributing to ratings, sales by buying products with their money interflowing in cashew of Konami company and influencing popularity through word of mouth and reviews.
Or in case of disappointment during transition(reboot) quitting with anime losing significant portion of watchers regardless of being outside of target demographic.
The audience for the card game and the audience for the show are two different things though. The main reason why I think there are a lot of teenagers and young adults in competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments is because they have the money to buy a bunch of cards to make a good deck compared to the kids in the target audience for the anime. The people who play the card game aren't necessarily going to be fans of the anime, similar to how people who play the Pokemon video games aren't necessarily fans of the anime either. Konami tends to recognize the older fans for the card game more than the older fans of the anime, especially when both Zexal and Arc-V have clearly been aimed at a younger audience given how they've explained most of the basics and different forms of summoning and Zexal had no clear connection to any of the first three series.

pokemon fan 132 said:
That doesnt add to forums being adequate representative of what may be general opinion about something. However when i see so many various, different people sharing same consensus about subject about reboots being mistake(mostly from those who dont watch new series) it awakens suspicion of being possibly more than just pure coincidence, outcry of only vocal minority. But reflection of how much higher number of people than expected may feel about it.

At leasts thats how i see it.
I'd still say that it's not a good means of finding out the general opinions on something for the same reasons I already mentioned. It's a poor way of gathering information and using that to make claims like this is just not really convincing to me, and probably not to a lot of other people for similar reasons. Besides that, different places have different majority of opinions. At one site that I visit frequently, the majority of people didn't like Zexal, but in another site, there were people who loved it.

pokemon fan 132 said:
Maybe, maybe not. Although Naruto or Dragon ball for example are known for keeping same cast for very long period. I guess whether same cast could work out by staying for years and develop over long period of time depends on writer motivation, enough resources and of course skill to pull that of. With skill being subjected to change and improve through experience, inspiration and new tasks you set infront of yourself when writing book, manga, novel etc.

You can always though do more with character in storyline if you have right ideas of how to take him forward and use already established plots as vector on which future is build and explored. Something which especially well applies in Ash case from pokemon being ironic how much he is in reality unexplored as character or how little his story is elaborated upon despite long stay. Or many of replaced companions.
The thing is that keeping the DM cast after adapting the events of the manga wouldn't make it like One Piece, Dragonball or Naruto. Every series after DM existed primarily to promote new cards, so the series transformed, or de-volved depending on who you ask, into a toyetic franchise. Even if they kept the DM cast, it wouldn't be just the writer trying to figure out what else to do with the characters. There would be a lot more executive mandates, trying to figure out how to promote the newest cards, creating new characters whose sole purpose was to promote the newest booster. He wouldn't have the creative freedom to do what he wished his his characters like someone like Oda does since he doesn't have to tie in merchandise to his story. The merchandise is created due to the popularity of the series and characters themselves, but the manga isn't written with the primary goal of promoting merchandise like all of the spin-off series has. Besides all that, it's still rare for a writer to use the same characters for over a decade and make it work. Often times, they'll be creatively tapped out by a certain point, or they don't wish to continue any longer because they've reached a good conclusion for the characters. So, while the idea that a writer can always do more with a character or storyline may sound possible, it's also too much of an idealization to actually work or be a realistic possibility. Usually when characters are kept around for that long, the writing for them and the storyline by extension, can become stale with few exceptions.

pokemon fan 132 said:
In some people mind DM cast could have been developed more and gain possibly more depth as charactersm add new texture to storyline enriching it through new idea and challenges as part of growing up(for ie i know quite a few which craved for more being done about Joey and Kaiba rivalry with Yugi which still technically existed).

While to some everyone got enough and they didn't see need for continuation.

It all comes down to personal interpretation, taste and standard of what in person mind can be considered satisfying amount of charxcter development and fleshing out learning about his past and story enough.

Im pretty neutral toward it, although it would be kinda cool if grown up Yugi became mentor like to Jaden, but i digrees.
I have rarely seen opinions like that for DM. The most common opinion I've heard is people wanting a new series with the DM that's more faithful to the manga, but that's mostly due to how both the Toei series and DM had adaptation problems, especially the Toei series in that case, rather than sheer nostalgia or preference for the DM cast. The ending was satisfying enough and while an OVA or movie set after the finale sounds cool, I never thought that they needed more than that.

pokemon fan 132 said:
I respect your line of thinking and can understand from where your coming from. However i still believe how stable mascot offers secure, stable representative, brand eatablished about anime making it easier for new kids to come in to show. Because of promotional value and recognizable, proven to be succesful image such long time leads make for themselves. Just like Pikachu makes it easier because of famuiliarity to attract kids into pokemon franchise, i believe how Ash in anime case to extent performs similar thing.

Or as old saying goes: A new broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows the corners.

One of reasons why i believe pokemon wouldn't be to same degree popular if it didn't had permanent driving force behind it.

So to each their own.;-)
I appreciate that and I respect your opinion as well. I still don't think that it's really that important for a show to have a mascot. All the reasons you mentioned are reasons why a franchise should have a mascot, but shows don't really need that in order to attract enough people to be successful. But we'll just go around in circles at this point, so we might as well stop the discussion here.
 
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@pokemon fan 132:

Do you know that your reasoning is contradicting itself, and can be counterblast so easily by the situation of current Pokemon anime?

Protagonist which in honor of creator of pokemon franchise in general(Satoshi Tajiri)carries out its name and is main focus of series centralized around one protagonist, and his journey of becoming pokemon master.
In writings, not only for fanfiction, but normal fictional work as well, self-insert is really the most significant sign of poor writings. The word "Mary Sue" unfortunately is a word specifically for fanfiction, but still for normal fictions, nonetheless Mary-Sue-like character will definitely be criticised as uninteresting, making the story becoming third rate.

To have people chance to explore through eyes of permanent character pokemon world, various customs, traditions and new pokemon. Have character which represents every young person hopes, dreams, adventurous spirit and innocent desires many of us as kids tend to have. Someone whose premise behind existence is in following life like on going story of one character and where his journey will take him. Journey which values more process of going through various challenges, quests, struggles and tests as way of someone getting there, rather than necessarily reachiung ultimate destination.
Do you know that this statement actually means that the personality of the character is utterly unimportant, only the things the protagonist do, where he goes, what he finds out during the journey becomes the only important issue? From literature viewpoint, you are not telling a story, but a documentary. Rather in that case go make a documentary film about the fictional world of Pokemon, or simply go play the game as the silent protagonist. That will bring out the viewer's (player's) hopes, dreams, adventurous spirit and innocent desires to go on a journey much much much better than watching a never-ending story.

Being new=/=necessarily better. It wont necessarily bring better storyline, more interesting characters, more interesting dreams for viewer to follow, background etc.
So the current Pokemon anime that ran for 17 years is super entertaining that everyone loved so much. Every year it is getting better and better, much more interesting and entertaining every successive saga, each new group of the friends are much more interesting then the previous group, and story plot are also getting better and better that every single episode is so exciting and enchanting, huh?

Being old and stable is also not necessarily better.

Especially in anime which has very linear, monotone and formulaic concept like pokemon does. Because at end of the day if someone else came after Ash during Johto and onwards would still do gym quest and try to become pokewmon master, Pikachu would be his main partner and his characterization would follow trope common for majority of shonen based anime protagonists. Since for some reason kids are able to connect and view such breed of protagonists as more heroic, "cooler" than rest in more cases than someone would expected.
That's why it is good to have reboot, where such monotone formula can be smash, create a new formula by testing out new story plot and new kind of character with new traveling objective.

Being new doesnt always make something fresh and more engaging to follow.
Needless to say who is to say how character which audience may find stale cannot become fresh and thrilling to follow again? This is typical case of underestimating long lasting characters which have background, established plots, to some extent molded characterization fulfilling prerequisites to go on bigger, more profound growth.

Same applies to literature and scriptwriting. Stale character and monotone storyline (thats such a subjective thing) can become enjoyable and interesting again. He can gain more depth and originality in characterization,. Make us learn about new things about thim, develop new fun interests and quirks bringing new exciting dimension to personality and restore lost charm or charisma which made us like someone in first place.
Does the background of Ash ever being mentioned within this 17 years of Pokemon anime? Does he have an established plot other than to become the Pokemon Master? Does he gains any depth and originality such that there is some "uniqueness" that makes him stands out from being the most typical shonen protagonist? Did he became a charismatic character that is able to attract audience after 17 years of journey? (Well, the last question might be quite subjective. I'll leave this to the public)

If we draw paralel with real life for example and say our car gets broken. Do we necessarily buy new one? No, especially if damage is small being more lucrative to go to mechanic paying repair and our vehicle becoming just as good as new. Rather than investing twice, even triple amount of money required to buy new one which may have design, engine performances and comfort of what doesn't suit our taste. Not delivering same pleasure like older vehicle did.

Moral of this lesson is: Dont change more than its needed, because it can easily backfire on you delivering worse results than those you already have.
Misty would like a word with you.

Elongated shows with stable cast, long on going story and big history behind themseles dont always succeed in becoming succesful and popular. Which isn't surprising because even with ingenious story or characters in sea of competition out there, various other shows or manga fighting for people attention and inerest on market lot of things can go wrong. Depending not just on work quality;but artful advertizing, good time slot when it will be bvroadcasted and charismatic characters(good character isn't necessarily appealing character) if your work is going to become hit or just end as fiasco.
In Pokemon anime's case, the only advantage within this competition is massive amount of advertising and able to get into golden broadcast timeslot for 17 years. Though I do agree, these two advantages are the crucial winning factor.
But still, just looking at the continuously decreasing view rate, rating, local sales of DVD, profits from the movies for every successive year, it is only the problem of time that it loses this competition.

However one big and crucial advantage they have over those whigh exchange characters on consistent basis lies in setting predispositions in giving people reason to remain attracted toward show in folloewing protgonist they developed liking, grew attached to and put lot of their time, emotion and appreciation for character. Wanting to see in what new directions writers will take him, will all those struggles, accumulated knowledge, various people Ash met and cultures he experienced bring frit on table.

Not being done for nothing but leading their favorite somewhere and have belief of avhievements,m training and character development moding his personality and skills moving forward.

Repeated exchange of protagonists as consequence cause viewers to not form much of connnection to its characters and forming loyal fandom. Discouraging you from caring for character you as writer introduce in story.

And ultimately cause viewer to lose interest for anime as whole.
Currently, Ash's journey is all for nothing. Whatever amount of knowledge, skill, experience he gained in one region, he will never ever win a regional league. He is forced by the producer to go to next region, and the cycle goes again. Viewers knew that he will never progress, so many just lose interest for the anime as whole.

And you are misunderstanding one thing. The attachment and passion towards an anime is not about does the anime having stable protagonist or not. It is the entertainment value that hooks the viewer. Other than the protagonist himself, the story plot quality, the mentally relatable emotions within the events, conversations between characters, relationship between each other, reactions towards an event, conflicts with the antagonists/villains, exciting climax, overall mood and tone, actions and animation, graphics and sound, music and voiceacting, etc. They all contributes to liking from the fans.

You just don't understand how loyal the Gundam fans and Precure fans are towards their respective series, and also how big their fanbase is.

This can be best evidenced with Ash traveling companions in pokemon case. Because of high rate of cast changes leaving older ones forgotten in dust like they dont exist in this universe people over time became much less attached to anyone ever since Misty and May were replaced. Resulting in people not having that many characters in who they could emotionally invest, develop strong attachment and not be concerned over those they care about and like going away from main screen.

Deprived of chance to be explored to full potential, remain relevant to story, advance their own dreams and explore on various aspects of characterization breaking new grounds with them. Going once basics are passed onto more substantial growth(hardly ever happens with no climax and denuaement happening).

Ash is one of last ones which has chance to experience such growth, hence why so many older fans sticked with poknmon series for all this time keeping pokemon anime more popular than it would have been if we only relied on target audience.
Ash traveling companion being replaced is a complete different story from Ash's story is finalized where next saga is no more story about him. Don't mix the two situation and concept up, as they are actually dollars to doughnuts.

Moreover, that was because Misty was brushed off in such a bad method, without her character potential being fully used, without her story being finalized in a plausible manner. Additionally in the chronicle episodes and some BF episodes it implied that she was unhappy and not very satisfying about being merely a gym leader. Many Misty fans were furious towards scriptwritier giving her such a bad ending.
That goes the same to every traveling companions of Ash except Brock.

And do you know that Ash (and also TRio as well) being the last vestige from OS is also the same reason most Pokemon viewer leave the show? Because many people cannot relate the new Ash to the OS Ash, giving off a very awkward feeling which confuses the viewers of treating Ash as acquaintance but yet at the same time being an utter stranger.

In such case, rather give us a complete new stranger as new protagonist will be better, because then viewers will not sit with such strange feeling.

If anything all those long running shows like Fairy Tail, Naruto, Bleach, Inuyasha Dragon ball etc allowed to have on going plot which uses past as guidelines through which future is created unfolding out on unknown aspects of main storypoints and characters becoming more coimplex and multilayered as time goes on.

And based on overall enormous popularity and comments i read online for most of long lived protagonists from this anime(Goku, Ichigo Korosaki, Luffy, Nami, Kuchiki Rukia,Sakura and many others) long stay wasn't mistake but chance to explore characters and story more gaining more meat and depth over tme thus making it even more engaging to follow.
Like I said in my several previous post, having continuity is the prerequisite for those shows to become successful.

Even Shudo Takeshi originally didn't planned to elongate Pokemon anime for so long, where it means that he saw Pokemon anime didn't have the necessary continuity to tell a good story like any of the above-mentioned anime. But unfortunately, Pokemon anime was forced to elongate by the director board due to commercialism.

Bringing us to next inference:
Issue of pokemon anime being stuck in repetitive limbo doesn't come from Ash character but writers false sense of security how this approach can last forever overlooking how because of status quo interest in series is dropping. Not just because of repetitiveness, but also because of forgetting about past friends and their unfinished dreams like they are trash(many people abandoned pokemon because ex main characters are treated with no respect or recognition at all falling in oblivion once theyre replaced) and mutilated continuity.
Yeah, this part I'll also agreed, that if scriptwriting is better, considering continuity within the story building, do not forget about the past characters, the Pokemon anime will do fine even protagonist is Ash for 17 years.

But do you also know the problem is that scriptwriting team of an anime is fixed until it is finished? So it means that if Pokemon anime is not finish at some time, the scriptwriting quality will not increase because it is always the same people writing its story, unless some of the scriptwriter resign the work in middle, where it is then necessary to hire a new scriptwriter. But this is a case of very low probability.

The rebooting anime also have an advantage, is that for each different saga, a complete different scriptwriter can be hire, so story plot quality can be vary.
But of course, such quality variation doesn't guarantee it will become better, sometimes it can be worse. But nonetheless it exist possibility that scriptwriting quality of next saga can become better.

Because mascots fulfill initial mission of sparking interest among people to give anime chance and test it to see if it will suit their taste. Quality of writing; things like continuity,character development, substatial plot, innovation etc. All of that plays role only after someone getting into pokemon series determining if its worth his or her time to stick around. Or outright abandon it.
Having a mascot for a franchise company is important, but not for anime.
And I think you are misunderstanding something. The protagonist of an anime serve as a representative of an anime, which is something technically different from mascot of a franchise. E.g. Kamille together with Z-Gundam represents the 2nd Gundam anime, Heero with Wing Gundam represents the 6th Gundam anime, etc. If the viewer is interested by the protagonist in some advertisement, they'll watch it. BTW, the Gundam franchise uses the very first most classic Gundam to be its mascot. Amuro the protagonist of the 1st Gundam anime, is not part of the franchise mascot.
Even it is not series anime nor long-running anime, but normal standalone anime, protagonist of any show does represents the fictional work to certain degree, making people interested in watching if a good-looking character is being the protagonist of a show.

Also if you are talking about luring audience to watch an anime, that has complete nothing to do whether an anime having stable protagonist or not.
More importantly, luring audience to watch an anime is not the important issue, but keeping the audience to continuous entertained, falling in love with the show, always coming back for more, and getting involved in buying the related merchandize is the important issue. That is where all the literature element play its role.



I'm also getting a bit tired of continuously debating. I had already stated my point of view, and I'll not change my mind on this issue. The quality and situation of current Pokemon anime is already proving answer to this question.


Edit: An anime booming for a temporary period is never meant to be a boom permanently. Making into a series work is the way for permanent success.
There are shows that is suitable for long-running and show that is suitable for being as series. IMO Pokemon is the latter.

One more thing, for both long-running anime and series anime, there exist the popular ones and not widely known ones. Each have their different story of success and failure, each one become a boom/fiasco due to many issues, not just because of having stable protagonist or not.
You need to case study each single one of them to find out what makes them popular/unpopular. Don't just collectively group them as one thing. Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblade, Gundam, Precure are all different!!
 
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Do you know that your reasoning is contradicting itself, and can be counterblast so easily by the situation of current Pokemon anime?
Your only contradicting yourself if you ignore current situation of what debate is about focusing just on one side of spectrum . But if your using it as means to weight out positive and negative sides behind keeping constant main character. Than its not contradiction, but pointing out how situation is more complex than it meets the eye. And how things shouldn't be simplified dividing them in black and white thinking.

Do you know that this statement actually means that the personality of the character is utterly unimportant, only the things the protagonist do, where he goes, what he finds out during the journey becomes the only important issue? From literature viewpoint, you are not telling a story, but a documentary. Rather in that case go make a documentary film about the fictional world of Pokemon, or simply go play the game as the silent protagonist. That will bring out the viewer's (player's) hopes, dreams, adventurous spirit and innocent desires to go on a journey much much much better than watching a never-ending story.
I believe you missed the point. I only emphasized on reasoning behind value and appeal lying in following established protagonist through various adventures, exploring world and have on going journey which develops over long period of time. Using past as template on which more productive and complex development could meet itself later in narrative.

But i didn't implied in any way how personality dont have importance in here. Personality and character interactions are one of most important ingredients to have relatable character, endearing story and rewarding experience of following process of someone going from point A to point B.

One doesn't go without another to create compelling story naturally.

So the current Pokemon anime that ran for 17 years is super entertaining that everyone loved so much. Every year it is getting better and better, much more interesting and entertaining every successive saga, each new group of the friends are much more interesting then the previous group, and story plot are also getting better and better that every single episode is so exciting and enchanting, huh?

Being old and stable is also not necessarily better.
I never said how pokemon story or characters are consistent, well structured and fascinating to follow either(last part is up to interpretation of individual). I only emphasized on benefits from business and narrative standpoint behind long running shows with balanbced main characters and continuous plot which unfolds out over long period of time.

With many examples from past and modern times revealing how such concepts can be overall more lucrative, appealing and succesful strategy in making some work of fiction better wodespreaded worldwide and famous. Than short stories/ anime which constantly reboot universe, main cast, surrounding etc not having long running legacy, brand and to same degree passionate fandom which is willing to stick around for long period of time. Lacking iconic main characters as franchise representatives depending on media they are in.

That's why it is good to have reboot, where such monotone formula can be smash, create a new formula by testing out new story plot and new kind of character with new traveling objective.
Bringing us to starting point. Two wrongs dont make something right.

Introducing new characteer with same quest Ash does, same main pokemon as his partner(Pikachu), similar trope archtype and flaws isn't solution to problem. Its only tacking new coat of paint in form of different face on already existing problem.

Not to mention with Ash quest there is nothing inherently wrong having multiple directions to take him forward. Such as after winning league and battling E4 revealing what other steps are required to obtain in order to become pokemon master, elaborate on conection to Ho oh being chosen as some special trainer. Reveal more about past and possible father. Focus on preexisting flaws instilled inside character of being over confident rashing into action withoub coming up with plan, impulsive and stubborn letting emotions take worse of him, has trouble in adapting to different battle style brnging trouble of utilizing pokemon to full potential(as Torterra example showed)etc.

What viewers would find much more satisfying is writers actually utilizing this potential and have character develop to deeper, more influencing degree. Rather than starting new storyline with new character letting all that unused potential go to waste.

Potential and plots which were designed in such way that 130 epidodes as OP suggested wouldn't been enough to properly develop character and give it adequate conclusion.

Does the background of Ash ever being mentioned within this 17 years of Pokemon anime? Does he have an established plot other than to become the Pokemon Master? Does he gains any depth and originality such that there is some "uniqueness" that makes him stands out from being the most typical shonen protagonist? Did he became a charismatic character that is able to attract audience after 17 years of journey? (Well, the last question might be quite subjective. I'll leave this to the public)
Thats irrelevant to this discussion. Since flimsy way in which Ash journey and dreams were developed(although admittedly in OS, AG and DP at least some sense of progression and learning from mistakes was provided)dont change fact how long lasting protagonists in continuity based anime with histiry and background behind itself allows:

- continuity based, consistent story where we see characters develop over long period dealing with various challenges coming closer toward their dreams, build on their relationship and experience various new cultures, pokemon and places broadening horizons. Which is much more interesting and worth your time of growing attached to character and wanting to see him succeed imo.

Feeling like your given chance to follow one big adventure which has its prelude, tangle, climax and eventually denuaement.

Mind you pokemon series are far from written as consistent, innovative entity. But basic concept which other long running shows has inherent to them applies to pokemon too. Being one big entity based story which builds on itself and follow stable hero going forward.

Offering permanent, relatable to audience hero with who they can affiliate themselves, develop strong admiration and liking wishing to see how are things gonna played out eventually.

In Pokemon anime's case, the only advantage within this competition is massive amount of advertising and able to get into golden broadcast timeslot for 17 years. Though I do agree, these two advantages are the crucial winning factor.
But still, just looking at the continuously decreasing view rate, rating, local sales of DVD, profits from the movies for every successive year, it is only the problem of time that it loses this competition.
I think that if writers payed more attention to consistent charactger development with Ash journey making more sense and bringing him somewhere eventually. If there was payed more attention to past and history making journey continuity based.As well keeping comoanions relevant and important to plot not forgetting about unity of friendship beteween them and Ash, their own dreams, insecurities and unfinished stories having prospect of going firward. If there was less repepetition and new, fresh outlets provided for characters and story to evolve through.

There would be much, much less complaining with people not minding if journey went for 17 years.

Currently, Ash's journey is all for nothing. Whatever amount of knowledge, skill, experience he gained in one region, he will never ever win a regional league. He is forced by the producer to go to next region, and the cycle goes again. Viewers knew that he will never progress, so many just lose interest for the anime as whole.

And you are misunderstanding one thing. The attachment and passion towards an anime is not about does the anime having stable protagonist or not. It is the entertainment value that hooks the viewer. Other than the protagonist himself, the story plot quality, the mentally relatable emotions within the events, conversations between characters, relationship between each other, reactions towards an event, conflicts with the antagonists/villains, exciting climax, overall mood and tone, actions and animation, graphics and sound, music and voiceacting, etc. They all contributes to liking from the fans.

You just don't understand how loyal the Gundam fans and Precure fans are towards their respective series, and also how big their fanbase is.
One doesn't go without another though. In order to set predispositions for captivating story, divergent and full of colorful interactions dynamic, provide fresh and unique storyline, meaningful conflict which leads somewhere you need engine. Characters, stable protagonists which allow for all of this to happen.

Driving force on which everything else is built, explored, molded and perpetuated.

This topic questions would pokemon series be as succesful, less popular or even more in case Ash was replaced after Orange islands doing complete clean swap.

With only way to adequatelly determine how would pokemon anime fare if it experienced reboot at that time lying in asessing how much of impact and influence Ash existence left on viewers. How popular and accepted series were with current cast among audience and whether would public mindset be benevolent toward new cast, different continuity and tone of new series?

My answer is following: there exists reasonable amount of evidence which points out toward outcome of pokemon anime after Ash would leave cast not having enough support, love and public interest to last for 17 years. Making it questionable if it would have had much future to evolve and thrive in first place.

To this inference contributes fact how long running anime with main driving force are in general more succesful, more popular and leave bigger influence on people, culture and fans developing immense loyalty toward them.

To this inference contributes fact of people growing so much attached and connected to pokemon orginal crew that Brock case of leaving before OI or Misty situation which caused lot of turmoils after Johto(inducating how just like Brock her departure after OI wouldn't be welcomed); revealing how much of an impact, value and identity they brought to show in people minds .

Its not just about way characters were written out or how much someone was fleshed out, but also in strong liking, emotional investment and sympathy developed toward Ash and original crew worldwide that any attempt of replacing series driving force at that point could result in absolute disaster.
I dont think anyone in here understands or want to comprehend how much people were thrilled, enthusiastic and identified with Ash character,. Waiting in eagerness and expectation any new episode and adventure he and traveling companions would enter.

Examples of huge love and appreciation for original characters of some anime can be found everywhere.
To this day in Yugioh most talk is about Yami Yugi, Kaiba, Joey, Tea etc
In Beyblade people still mostly talk about Tyson, Kai, Kenny etc.
In Bakugan main center of attention is still put on orginal Battle Brawlers crew etc.
With Sailor Moon instead of new series fans demanded revival of Usagi, Jupiter,Tuxedo mask etc waiting for years until compoany decided to listen to them. Making remake in form of Sailor Moon Crystal.

In movie, anime, tv series industry in many cases first characters are ones which gain biggest following, are holded in highest regard as those which started everything. Formed groundwork on which anime was built and developed making it worldwide popular and recognized through powerful bonds, personal interests and fluid personalities leaving permanent stamp on franchise.

Sometime new adaptations succeed in getting out of shadow of their predecessor maintaining popularity and fan interest(more notable examples being Gundam Wing and Pretty Cure). But they can also fail to meet high standards and people expectations with move of cutting ties to previous characters,regions and everything which happened before setting plot in new timeline alienating audience. Instead of attracting them.

Especially if characters are highly popular and egraved in people minds as synonym for some anime. Not being ready to let them go or picture anime without them at all.

Ash traveling companion being replaced is a complete different story than Ash's story is finalized where next saga is no more story about him. Don't mix the two situation and concept up, as they are actually dollars to doughnuts.

Moreover, that was because Misty was brushed off in such a bad method, without her character potential being fully used, without her story being finalized in a plausible manner. Additionally in the chronicle episodes and some BF episodes it implied that she was unhappy and not very satisfying about being merely a gym leader. Many Misty fans were furious towards scriptwritier giving her such a bad ending.
That goes the same to every traveling companions of him except Brock.

And do you know that Ash (and also TRio as well) being the last vestige from OS is also the same reason most Pokemon viewer leave the show? Because many people cannot relate the new Ash to the OS Ash, giving off a very awkward feeling which confuses the viewers of treating Ash as acquaintance but yet at the same time being an utter stranger.
Way audience reacted to removal of travel companions serves as allusion of how could fandom possibly react to Ash removal, being justified to use them as comparison.

Another reason why people in general reacted more abruptly to earlier companions removal isn't only because of unused potential and unfinished story( like they left it open with Misty and her water master dream to help lazy sisters leaving things undefined as you said). It was also because back than people were more enmotionally invested in characters and attached to them because of being under belief how just like Ash they wont be replaced. Presenting pokemon initially as continuous show with inseparable friends which together grow, advance forward and deal with issues in different stages of life becoming enriched with new skills, experiences and relevant.Simply wanting that those they love remain relevant.

Speaking of fans leaving show Ash stagnation and not perspective future is one if reasons. But like i brought up in previous post its one among many reasons which contribute to people losing respect and understanding for this series.

But at same time despite all complaining, fact that many of us still follow this anime because of wanting to see Ash ending says a lot of how much impact and influence long stay characters can leave on watchers keeping them devoted.

Yeah, this part I'll also agreed, that if scriptwriting is better, considering continuity within the story building, do not forget about the past characters, the Pokemon anime will do fine even protagonist is Ash for 17 years.

But do you also know the problem is that scriptwriting team of an anime is fixed until it is finished? So it means that if Pokemon anime is not finish at some time, the scriptwriting quality will not increase because it is always the same people writing its story, unless some of the scriptwriter resign the work in middle, where it is then necessary to hire a new scriptwriter. But this is a case of very low probability.

The rebooting anime also have an advantage, is that for each different saga, a complete different scriptwriter can be hire, so story plot quality can be vary.
But of course, such quality variation doesn't guarantee it will become better, sometimes it can be worse. But nonetheless it exist possibility that scriptwriting quality of next saga can become better.
Irony is that writers aren't so incompetent as some may thought. For example Atsuhiro Tomioka writes for Fairy Tail, Junki Takegami wrote for some of One Piece or Naruto episodes. Both anime are known for better handling of character development, more consistent storyline and ensurance that each character is in one way or another crucial for development of storyline remaining in relevant and worthwhile role instead of being replaced like last trash.

So in reality they can write better sripts, take Ash through more cmplex development and break current status quo. If they receive motivation, awake passion and interest into them to put more effort in story than they already do(such as in Ash case and overall continuity which is laughable at best).

Having a mascot for a franchise company is important, but not for anime.
And I think you are misunderstanding something. The protagonist of an anime serve as a representative of an anime, which is something technically different from mascot of a franchise. E.g. Kamille together with Z-Gundam represents the 2nd Gundam anime, Heero with Wing Gundam represents the 6th Gundam anime, etc. If the viewer is interested by the protagonist in some advertisement, they'll watch it. BTW, the Gundam franchise uses the very first most classic Gundam to be its mascot. Amuro the protagonist of the 1st Gundam anime, is not part of the franchise mascot.
Also if you are talking about luring audience to watch an anime, that has complete nothing to do whether an anime having stable protagonist or not.
More importantly, luring audience to watch an anime is not the important issue, but keeping the audience to continuous entertained, falling in love with the show, always coming back for more, and getting involved in buying the related merchandize is the important issue. That is where all the literature element play its role.
Difference though is that way Ash was depicted in story and connection to pokemon franchise main mascot Pikachu was portrayed in such aay, that yellow rodent and main protagonist became basically inseparable duo by time pokemon series contnued airing past Kanto.

In people minds this two were imprinted as mascots for pokemon series, those around who anime revolves and adapts. Making me believe how pokemon staff on purpose developed such brand and correlation between Ash and Pikachu as pat of marketing trick to create better advertizing results. And having someone so iconic and familiar on global basus that when people think of pokemon they immediately associate it with Ash and Pikachu.

Helping in attracting new fans toward it. After that its anyone game if viewer is going to stick with anime or not.

But that doesn't change my opinion how Ash long stay and role of driving force, permanent protagonist of pokemon series played big role for this anime even existing as long as they did when looking at things in retrospective. Giving people reason to continue watching anime because if character from their childhood they cared aboit and loved is still around wanting to see where will road take him.And if that day will ever come.

I'm also getting a bit tired of continuously debating. I had already stated my point of view, and I'll not change my mind on this issue.
"Wise do as much as they should, not as much as they could."

So feeling is mutual. At this point i feel we both used our main arguments with discussion reaching stalemate. Since neither side is willing to change opinion, thus making further talk redundant.

And since we didn't found any middle ground im going to agree to disagree with you respectively.

My final thoughts:

I'd still say that it's not a good means of finding out the general opinions on something for the same reasons I already mentioned. It's a poor way of gathering information and using that to make claims like this is just not really convincing to me, and probably not to a lot of other people for similar reasons. Besides that, different places have different majority of opinions. At one site that I visit frequently, the majority of people didn't like Zexal, but in another site, there were people who loved it.
In statistics when you do research to gather what may be reception from majority about something, this is made on targeted sample groups of participans though. Because for practical purposes it would be impossible to do measurement and research on literally every citizen of some country. Being very expensive, unprofitable and most importantly unviable procedure taking years to accomplish that.

With inference of how people feel about something being based on repeated patterns. Isolated places and groups of people determining what is brought up on consistent basis and what receives most support or attention.

Polarizing opinions exist on almost everything, but based on my observations and places i visited amount of people which disliked new series holding on thought how continuous revamps "destroyed identity and appeal" Yugioh had. It may sound extremistic and i dont agree with them, but to my surprise there is a lot more of those with such mindset than i thought it would be.

I dont expect that what i said sounds convincing, but i just felt need to share with you guys what i came across. And how cast changes for notable portion of this franchise fans from what i noticed were reason behind abandoning anime.

Using it as example of how Ash removal after Orange Islands may have not left fans indifferent with shock and anger possibly resulting in anime becoming less succesful losing more than it would gain.

The thing is that keeping the DM cast after adapting the events of the manga wouldn't make it like One Piece, Dragonball or Naruto. Every series after DM existed primarily to promote new cards, so the series transformed, or de-volved depending on who you ask, into a toyetic franchise. Even if they kept the DM cast, it wouldn't be just the writer trying to figure out what else to do with the characters. There would be a lot more executive mandates, trying to figure out how to promote the newest cards, creating new characters whose sole purpose was to promote the newest booster. He wouldn't have the creative freedom to do what he wished his his characters like someone like Oda does since he doesn't have to tie in merchandise to his story. The merchandise is created due to the popularity of the series and characters themselves, but the manga isn't written with the primary goal of promoting merchandise like all of the spin-off series has. Besides all that, it's still rare for a writer to use the same characters for over a decade and make it work. Often times, they'll be creatively tapped out by a certain point, or they don't wish to continue any longer because they've reached a good conclusion for the characters. So, while the idea that a writer can always do more with a character or storyline may sound possible, it's also too much of an idealization to actually work or be a realistic possibility. Usually when characters are kept around for that long, the writing for them and the storyline by extension, can become stale with few exceptions.
Valid points, however as far as merchandise goes and series purpose to promote new cards anime isn't even relevant all that much anymore. Since majority of Yugioh players are adults and teens among who minority follow this show anymore.Yet cards still sell like hotcakes. Anime at this point in Yugioh has more of symbolic value than anything else.

I understand and can see reasoning behind your logic. Although i still believe that if Kazuki Takahashi wanted to keep DM cast thnks to himopngous release of various new dragion casrds and blue eyes support in kaiba case, luck based cards for Joey, new spellcasters and strategies to play magicians for Yugi etc their stay and at same time promotional value would been viable.

Additionally while my words regarding writing for long running characters may sound idealiastic, at same time i think you cannot know or get far without trying. Going to quote one of my favorite writers Arthur Conan Doyle who showed how your capable of anything if you try being filled with enough passion and determination.

With one of his sayings being:
"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself but talent instantly recognizes genius."

Because quality of good write lies in being able to learn how to get up after experiencing drought, look past his ego and arrogance dealing with mess careless actions created for story and characters. Coming to realization how to fix them up and bring back characters back to former glory and luster they used to have regaining poublic enthusiasm and interest. Or put new challenges infront of himself serving as mind excersise in surpassing limits, developing new understanding for your fictional work and develop new creative ways through which characters and plot can excel forward. Without feeling linear, stale and contrived.
Which is fuel for progress and way in becoming better over time.

And can transfer to way Ash is currently written and pokemon series imo.

I appreciate that and I respect your opinion as well. I still don't think that it's really that important for a show to have a mascot. All the reasons you mentioned are reasons why a franchise should have a mascot, but shows don't really need that in order to attract enough people to be successful. But we'll just go around in circles at this point, so we might as well stop the discussion here.
Fair enough and thank you for this pleasant discussion. It was fun.:)
 
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That's a tough question. I'm all in for having character rotation like in the Pokémon Special/Adventures, but Ash was pushed as one of the big faces of the franchise from the beginning, so I don't think it'd have worked very well. However, as the years passed, the anime became less important as a marketing resource overseas during AG and DP. Maybe the anime was still an important marketing tool in Japan, but in the West, it didn't stood very well in my opinion, as kids grew up and got disenchanted with Ash failing to accomplish his goals.
The change between characters could have happened, as I insist, between DP and BW, because during this period, the Pokémon franchise was trying to start to focus in a more mainstream international market. Game Freak finally realized that they needed to transform Pokémon into a franchise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, rather than just children, and I think that it's working fine so far. Just look at XY advertising in America. Excuse me if I'm wrong, but I remember a TV ad that showed young adults playing the game. However, the anime right now is not helping very much, because it was mostly exempt from these changes; if anything, the Pokémon anime became fully kodomo.
If the main character had been changed after so many years, it would have brought a lot of attention to the anime. They'd just have had to ensure that the new character(s) were equally or more entertaining, and to return to use the anime as an important marketing tool in the West.
 
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@pokemon fan 132:

This will be my last word to you for this discussion.

To tell the truth, I was actually being indifferent to the idea of Ash being the sole protagonist of the anime, ONLY IF the Pokemon anime can do like what the story of Dragonball or Naruto did, having the protagonist grow continuously (and significantly that even idiots can "see" it), focus more on the development of already existing characters by giving them more depths and background through serious mental conflicts, don't treat the already established character like once-off throwaway and bring in some other characters that are doing the exact same role as their predecessors, focus more on smooth story flow and plot quality, no so much CotD and parodies and meaningless slapsticks, eliminates the overall happy-go-lucky atmosphere and artificial emotions, each new challenge is on a much higher level than the previous season such that protagonist truly struggle every time to overcome the obstacle, give the antagonist/villains a more serious tone such that one should treat them seriously, take into considerations of general knowledges and be more intelligent. Yeah, then Pokemon anime can do great and fine even for 17 years.

But the fact is that for these 17 years, it proved that the current story structure of Pokemon anime is not suitable to make into a long-running anime, where protagonist keep on challenging Pokemon League of different region, and that the difficulty of each league doesn't seems that much of a difference, and that Ash doesn't seems to grow that much mentally, or doesn't even feel like becoming an elite trainer that one can encounter in Victory Road in the game. If they are going to keep the same story structure as it is currently, then they should rather make it into a series anime from the early stage, where it should then bring in freshness and not leaving such a bitter aftertaste like it is currently.

Moreover is that the current scriptwriter team, more correctly speaking the head scriptwriter and/or supervisor(s) of Pokemon anime lacks such talent to establish a long successful and interesting story like Dragonball where everyone in Japan consider it as classic of Battle Action anime. Therefore it will rather be much better to make it into series anime, where then not only the scriptwriter team may change, but also the supervisors that have full control of how the story should flow may also change for each saga.

Writing an interesting story is difficult, writing an super-long story where every episodes even the fillers are interesting is much more difficult.

And hence, I truly admire Toriyama Akira, for being able to tell such an interesting story for such a long time even for the filler episodes, and yet able to listen to the comment of fans and respond them with the change of story (such as bringing back Goku in Dragonball Z) in a very natural way that didn't break the smoothness of plot flow.

Too bad, there are just not so much genius like Toriyama Akira. Hence it is better for Pokemon anime as being a series anime, because long running show takes a passionate genius to keep it interesting for all time long.



P.S. You are making several mistake of several anime series.
* Bakugan was a yearly anime of roughly 52 episodes where its protagonist and main characters never changed. It was always Danma being the protagonist, main group consist of Runo and others rotate between each saga. Each saga is connected and yet being individual story of its own. BTW, the Baku Tech series is not part of the original Bakugan series.
* Same as Sailor Moon, it was yearly anime of rather roughly 40 episodes, where Tsukino Usagi was forever being the protagonist of each saga, other main characters being Ami(Sailor Mercury), Rei(Sailor Mars), Makoto(Sailor Jupitor), Minako(Sailor Venus), Chibi Usa(Sailor ChibiMoon, since R), Mamoru(Tuxedo Mask). This was never changed even up to the final saga of Sailor Star, only that other main character appears as well depending on the saga. The new Crystal saga is said to be rather a more faithful story adaption of original manga series, didn't consist of anything new. And this new anime is already 18 years time difference compare to the last Sailor Star saga. You can't say that anime studio "listen to the fans", because there was no evidence at all that Sailor Moon fans demand that after 18 years.
* Gundam Wing is one anime saga of the entire Gundam franchise. Don't talk like Gundam Wing is a series on its own.

And I want to rephrase again what I added in my previous post. For both long-running anime and series anime, there exist the popular ones and not widely known ones. Each franchise have their own individual story of becoming successful or unsuccessful, each one become a boom/fiasco due to many issues, not just because of having stable protagonist or not. You need to case study each single one of them to find out what makes them popular/unpopular.

I still believe Pokemon anime can become successful even with changing protagonist each saga, because Pokemon as a franchise is game being the primary focus, which has complete different business setup from Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblade, Gundam, Pretty Cure franchise where they are all anime being the primary focus (Digimon being on the borderline, well currently it became toy-centered). It is also not comparable to any of the long-running shows like Fairy Tail, One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, etc. where they are all anime adaption from manga. Moreover, Pokemon as a show is centered around the magical creature called Pokemon, not the human beings, unlike all of the above mentioned show (except Digimon) where main characters are always human being.

If Pokemon anime with reboot story and rotating protagonist did turned out being unsuccessful, then in that case it is not the fault of the anime, but the failure and lose of popularity of the entire Pokemon franchise.
 
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To クリスタル: In order to clear up misinterpretations and explain some things im going to give my last 2 cents on this debate.

First paragraph of your post reminds me why i appreciated Takeshi Shudo work so much. He had vision of treating pokemon series as more than just advertizing tool. After all we are talking about same person who planned to create freaking T-rex for third pokemovie. Bringing new dimension to story perhaps better explaining pokemon origins and how pokemon came to planet earth influencing to that point known animal eco system and eventually humans over the history. He wanted anime with its own rules, characters and story treating it as media accessible to all age demogaphics and on purpose adding more mature elements so that even teens and adults could enjoy into. He wanted to add more complexity on psychological growth of human or pokemon. Like introducing mentally unstable characters as Sabrina, Misty growing without parents, berated by sisters and everyone else leaving negative efect on her mental state learning how to cope with it and discover her own talents. Mewtwo killing all scientists questioning his destiny.
Hence why writing style Kanto, Orange and to extent Johto(it was still treated as continuation building on personalities and journey aspect) was largely differs from later generations.

But commercialism and pretty much restrictions OLM along with director imposed on mr. Shudo resulted in show not being allowed to get advanced in direction he wanted it too.

However i still think keeping Ash was smarter move and allowed that pokemon becomes accepted easier intetnationally. Because it opened window for potentially mesmerizing story told over long period of time focused on power of friendship, strong bonds between humans and pokemon, chance to explore world and work on advancing dreams with stable cast going on more complex, meaningful growth with time.

Of course that untapped potential, replaced characters and fact that we still know very little of Ash history, dream of becoming pokemon master, opportunity to explore more on his desires and flaws while inflicts aggravation and bitter taste in mouth. At same time created predisposition for people in growing attached to Ash, caring more for him and journey wanbting to see in what way things are going to be concluded eventually.

Another trace of hope for this came from Masamitsu Hudaka in interview from 2008, on Pokebeach, stating how pokemon anime will end when Ash becomes pokemon master.
Aditionally saying how introducing Ash father and expoloring more on his past and groundwork is possibility if writing team ever decides to develop character more.

Leading me to belief how they have potential in themselves and knowledge hey know how to write better and provide memorable on going story even over long period of time. Its more that they tend to become lazy, too relaxed not realizing how their actions and inconsideration might reflect on pokemon series when looking at bigger picture unfortunately.

As for my talk about other anime i suppose i expressed myself wrongly using wrong choice of words. Apologies for that.

With Bakugan my argument was along the lines how just like with Pokemon, Yugioh, Beyblade etc and people talking and remembering most first characters. Same can be applied to this other shows with people remembering fondly most Dan and original crew from first season with new ones from seasons Gundalian Invaders, Vestroia and Mechtanium Surge like Fabia, Jake,Paige etc. always being overshadowed by them.

With Sailor Moon i know it kept same cast with protagonists not changing(after all its one of anime from my childhood remembering it very well). My point was more along the lines of how much original protagonists from some series can leave positive imprint on people mind, impact and establish popularity. That big and widespread to the point of fans not being able to imagine anime from specific franchise without them around.

With fans devotion and love for Sailor Moon anime and its characters resulting in Crystal saga made to retell story of original manga again but more closely this time. Reason i said its revival , is because after 14 years people demand of seeing this anime on screen and its characters again has been fulfilled. Regardless of being just retell of same storyline. Although maybe word remake would be more appropriate.

What im trying to say is how in several anime cases originally introduced characters can evoke in people emotional attachment, support and apprecvation to such degree, that attempt of making reboot and having show cut all ties with previous cast fans developed liking for. History, bonds and everything established before will not always be met with open minded state, enthusiasm and people interest.

With anime which constantly do new adaptations with new surrounding, protagonists, situations, story etc. just like succeeding, also having risk of becoming failure.

Im well aware how each anime, OVA, light novel and various other types of series genre are different as far as far as marketing, source from which ideas for story and characters are taken, their structure etc goes.

But if other examples of long running shows had anything similar to pokemon lies in same main star, story and characters still being set in singular timeline, continuity and universe being treated regardless of mishaps, repetitions and going back to square one as on going story which is supposed to build on itself. Contain continuity, unbreakable connections between friends and open window that every past companion(May, Brock, Misty, Dawn you name it) with unresolved story and influence he played in pokemon story and past having theoretical chance(accenting on word theoretically) to become relevant again. Depending on writers mood and future plans.

Keeping Ash as main character and treating show as one big series which keeps somewhat of connection to past generations creating brand, strong popular characters with who people would be able to identify series with and make name for itself. Prompting them to not abandon show from their childhood becasuse of cast they grew to like being take in new, undiscovered directions growing forward. Mostly applies to Ash though, but him alone is reason why so many older fans are still keeping themselves informed about anime watching it.

So personally while i respect your view and can understand benefits behind revamp of franchise, i still think that if Ash was removed and everyone else even that early after Orange adventure would bring more harm than benefit for multiple reasons stated through this thread with huge attachment to characters back than giving out vibe of most of fans not being open for revamp. If they knew back than in what would this anime turned into and how grating, jarring things became their mindset and stance could be vastly different.

But at that time people were so much pumped up, excited with already existing cast finding them freash, unique and eventful to follow that no one wanted to hear about seeing any of them removed. With Ash, Misty, Brock and TR being anime "Alpha and Omega" to them.
 
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What makes Pokemon different then anime like Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball is that the Pokemon anime solely exists in order to promote the games that it's based on. Therefore in my opinion, in order to promote the games even further it would make sense to use the game protagonists in the series. I know they've done that with May and Dawn, but the one thing that never changes in the main games is collecting gym badges, which is what Ash always does (and what I would assume every male protagonist would do unless they switch it up like how the manga handled Ruby and Sapphire.)

I also have to wonder how popular Ash is exactly. On his own, he's not very interesting and he's the type of character that is only entertaining when he's with a group of people. One could argue that Jimmy or any other male protagonist could have been the same way, but you can easily give a new character new personality traits. Sure they may have some that are similar to the previous protagonist, but they'll have some that makes them stand out as well. Look at the different protagonists from the Yu-Gi-Oh series'. Each of them have different personalities that distinguish them from the protagonist that came before them. Yuma is the opposite of Yusei, who's the opposite of Jaden, and so on.

Also honestly, I think Ash's popularity mostly comes from Pikachu, and he's the main reason that Ash has stuck around for so long. I get that Pikachu is the mascot of the franchise, but you can still feature it regularly even if you changed protagonists. Red has a Pikachu in the manga but that didn't really change anything after he was replaced.


Edit: I remember back when Diamond and Pearl was just beginning when Dawn was heavily promoted in previews and posters, and that made a lot of people think that Ash wasn't gonna be in that series. Of course that changed once Ash showed up in the previews and posters, but just looking at the first episode of Diamond and Pearl to me is an example of how the series could work with a new protagonist. Ash didn't show up until the last few minutes of the episode, but the majority was just Dawn starting out on her journey. I found that very exciting and interesting because we got to see a new protagonist start out with a unique personality. I could see them starting a series like this with Jimmy, May, or any other main protagonist besides Ash.
 
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リーリエの為に戦ってるトレーナー
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Honestly, the practices of "switching protagonists" or "keeping the same protagonists for the duration of the story" themselves do not correlate directly to the popularity or quality of a series. You could cite examples like Doraemon, Crayon Shin-chan, or Dragon Ball to the support the latter, but conversely I could cite examples like Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Gundam, or Mazinger Z to support the former.

These are all different series with different ways of handling themselves in a successful manner. Which irritates me whenever people bring up Yuugiou in topics where people talk about hypothetically replacing Satoshi in Pocket Monsters. Yuugiou was originally a manga by Kazuki Takahashi, who had put thought into the character development and progression of its story, with no intent of ever keeping the characters/dragging the story out, or switching protagonists and writing new stories for them each time. Once the story ended, they were done. Yuugi Mutou and his alter-ego can't be reused as central characters because they were designed for a specific purpose, for the beginning and end of their story. The first two anime series (the ones starring Yuugi/Dark Yuugi/King of Games and his friends) were partially adapted from this manga, the second one being a retooled version used to advertise the most popular game from the manga by making it completely Duel Monsters-centric (after Toei and Bandai failed to push their version of the real-life card game, Konami decided to push their own version with this series in collaboration with NAS/Studio Gallop). Much to their chagrin, the manga story and its characters at their very heart are not marketing tools, so they couldn't milk them after the end no matter how much they retooled the adaptation with their own content. And Kazuki Takahashi wasn't all about cards, which was why they busted through and ruined the Millennium World arc of the manga with, um, artistic liberties so they could get to their card-centric anime-original spin-offs faster. The succeeding anime spin-offs have nothing to do with the original manga and solely exist to push Konami's card game.

It's already a different situation to the Pocket Monsters anime, which was never a direct adaption of any manga series with an end. Instead, it had a video game as its source material, and just started out as an adaptation of Pocket Monsters Red & Green before slowly encompassing the rest of the game series that followed, which did switch protagonists. Now, however bare or vague it may be, the video games do have a plot and it's clear that the anime doesn't directly follow its structure by dragging it out with the first character (a representation of Red), yet it has semblance to things that happen in each game entry. Which makes it a very bizarre adaptation in that it follows the source material, yet doesn't at the same time (I guess it's kind of like Yuugiou's first two anime series, but Pocket Monsters is much more drastic; you could tell that the YGO anime at least had its source material *in mind* however loose it may have been - just another loose anime adaptation, whereas Pocket Monsters is a really special case).

Considering examples like Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan are meant to be slice-of-life comedy, using their staple protagonists as a comparison to Pocket Monsters's use of its mainstay protagonist (a franchise which really works better as an action-adventure), really makes me scratch my head. At the same time, you can't compare Pocket Monsters to long-running shounen series that have their tales written with one protagonist in mind and follow through on what they intend to do (most of the time). The anime is essentially adapting the "likeliness" of a set of video games, which designed each region to cover different protagonists and their individual stories, but uses only one character as its protagonist; dragging itself along according to each new release while sticking to its own status quo. They have no direction where to take Satoshi, because even if he develops to his peak (when his story naturally should end on a literary standpoint), the fact they're still keen on using him as the protagonist will eventually render that development useless. He's essentially a new character every time they decide to kick him off his peak for the purpose of continuing with the brand name, which is usually a function that a new protagonist would serve. The moment where they realized that the show will never end and decided to use the same protagonist every generation was where any semblance of direction was lost.

Pocket Monsters's quality could certainly be improved if they had an end in mind for different protagonists every series, worked towards it, and made that end inevitable. But would the popularity of the anime take a dive had it taken that direction to begin with? It's hard to say. I personally don't think it would. Take a look at Kamen Rider, an iconic Japanese superhero series designed by the late manga artist Shoutarou Ishinomori. Kamen Rider #1, Hongo Takeshi (pretty much Kamen Rider's equivalent of every original bearer of DC legacy names), is the first thing Japanese people of all ages think about when they hear the name "Kamen Rider." He even has a real life statue built in his honor. Yet Kamen Rider is a superhero series known to switch protagonists every series, and still remains very iconic today. The highest TV ratings for modern Kamen Rider series (the Heisei era) go to Kuuga and Agito, which are both series that have been lauded for keeping with the original concept while growing up with its viewers from the 70's-later 80's. They're still aimed at the same target audience (which is roughly the same as Pocket Monsters - people tend to forget superheroes are generally targeted towards kids as its lowest intended audience no matter how well/grim they're written, which isn't a bad thing), but aimed for a writing style that manages to be enjoyed and taken seriously by many age groups. Perhaps Pocket Monsters can take a cue from this?

Furthermore, does Satoshi really mean as much to the newer audience as he does to us, 18+ year-olds that are outside of the general viewing audience? It wouldn't matter if the anime still took Shudo's "all-ages family anime" approach instead of today's "just for kids" approach, but only because people in our age groups (who otherwise long since stopped watching the show) would still probably find worth in watching it (like long-running anime series such as One Piece). Do the younger viewers scream "YIPEE SATOSHI/ASH KETCHUM!" whenever they watch the anime, or are they cheering for their favorite monster? Like how the different companions don't affect the younger viewers' enjoyment of their weekly morning anime due to not being "familiar" with the older ones anyway, the same should apply to Satoshi, wouldn't it? What makes him any more marketable than any other fucking character? It could be any character from the games and they could still be getting into the show. They're not going to shoot the show down because of nostalgic attachment. It's exactly the same as my Kamen Rider example - kids aren't shunning the newest series Gaim because the main character is some fruit-samurai that barely has any resemblance to the original grasshopper-themed cyborg that is Hongo Takeshi. They're just kids just getting into the series - now, this isn't to say that replacing him gives the show an excuse to disrespect Satoshi's concluded character arc by completely forgetting about him and disregarding him in the anime's continuity in favor of new characters. That's always a bad thing. He should make reappearances as a mentor character, a character with a legacy, like any series with self-respect for its lore. See, even if characters pass the torch to new ones, it doesn't mean they can never appear again. Many series have older characters making appearances in newer series - ones that do the original characters justice, and for the newer generation of viewers, it really gives them the impression that what they're getting into isn't just some throwaway entertainment, but a television series with a history. They will still know who Satoshi is. He just wouldn't be reduced to an immorality/Pokemon League-failure joke as they get older. Meh, I don't know about you, but that sounds a lot more favorable. :p

I just don't think Satoshi is as "synonymous" to the franchise as most of the people in the PM fandom like to imply. The series is popular in many aspects, yes, but isn't it the monsters that influences the popularity of the series the most? Pikachu feels more like a mainstay, and a mascot to the franchise, than Satoshi does. Whereas Pikachu is a cute little critter that appears in everything, Satoshi is just the protagonist of the anime that may or may not appear on related products. If he was so iconic.... why didn't Game Freak pull a Link and somehow make different incarnations of Red the protagonist of every game version? You can replace the humans all you want, but the appeal of the monsters will always be there and is overall more significant to the franchise. Speaking from personal experience (therefore anecdotal), when I was a little kid, I didn't buy the games because of Ash Motherfucking Ketchum or Gary Motherfucking Oak, I bought it to be a Badass Motherfucking Trainer and train my Badass Motherfucking Mons. Sure, I loved the characters from the anime, but it's not like Satoshi drew me into the franchise. It was a whole bunch of aspects that drew me into the anime, and then the overall franchise.

Alternatively, I wouldn't have a problem with keeping Satoshi if the series was like, say, the Dragon Ball or One Piece manga where THINGS ARE ACTUALLY HAPPENING WITHIN THOSE 100+ CHAPTERS, not AFTER EVERY 100+ CHAPTERS (an exaggeration, but you know what I mean). What I want to know is why a series compromised of mundane and formulaic filler is so appealing when you could develop your characters within consecutive plot arcs. Pocket Monsters is a really flexible concept to use as an action-adventure anime, but really shirks around with that potential. It doesn't go full-on slice-of-life either, so it just appears as a particularly bad adventure anime, in my opinion. Even with the target audience, you can still get something a lot more fresh and eventful out of it if you brought in different writers and/or directors like Kazuki Nakashima, Reiko Yoshida, Naruhisa Arakawa, etc. for composing the different series. (For all I know though, executive meddling has the power to stick to the tired format of "CotD Problem of the Day" no matter how good the writer is - but giving the reigns to a writer that's known to have written good all-ages shows wouldn't hurt as an experiment, we could certainly use more Takeshi Shudo's in the writing team.)

And hence, I truly admire Toriyama Akira, for being able to tell such an interesting story for such a long time even for the filler episodes, and yet able to listen to the comment of fans and respond them with the change of story (such as bringing back Goku in Dragonball Z) in a very natural way that didn't break the smoothness of plot flow.
Sort of off-topic, but that's actually just a rumor. Gohan was definitely intended to be the new main character, with Goku of course staying dead, but Toriyama bringing Goku back towards the end of the series was actually just his own decision that Gohan was unsuitable as a protagonist (which I disagree with... I mean, he is the writer, he could just make him suitable...). As for the filler, I tend to ignore those when it comes to a mangaka's work, since that's just the anime studio. Toriyama was certainly good at making things up as he went along, better than other writers that do that, and aside from plotholes here and there... he did a pretty good job, and for Dragon Ball it worked. The Artifical Humans saga is the arc where meddling from his editors and his "writing-on-the-fly" seemed the most notable, though.
 
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I've thought about this a couple of weeks ago after the Red pokemon special ova movie. If they would have put thought into him like they did Red he would have been a whole lot better but after over 15 years of the same character, he would have still got old. People only miss main character when they leave. I don't like to compare this but if Yugi Moto would have lasted this long, I would have still stopped watching the show which I did once capsule monsters came. It just was that boring. Not to mention, I'm glad they changed the characters in Digimon after the second series too. I liked the old but they were starting to get on my nerves to. So it really doesn't matter. I had mentioned a lot of time before that if they either replaced Ash in Johto with Jimmy/Gold, Brendan in AG, Lucas in DP or beyond, that it wouldn't change anything. If they are aiming for a target age and don't want the story to develop as far as it should, then it doesn't matter. I watched the movie that had Alan in it and even though it's a bit better than XY, I would have not cared.
 
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The only issue with the show now is that it deviated from its original roots. Either make pokemon edgier like the B2W2 Animated Trailer (Link below), or more like the original series. More boss fantasies, more Team Rocket nonsense, and other classic things like that

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkTsd0iU97s
 
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I wondered that myself but truth is.. Ash is the primary reason I still watch the anime. I love the anime itself, but I don't think it'd be the same without Ash.

And no, the anime is sometimes badly written but that never matters. :)

However... Get rid of Team Rocket. Their antics are becoming tiresome... The main villains of the anime should be (For this season) Team Flare.
 
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