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Would You Have Preferred Pokemon: Sword and Shield The Series Over Journeys?

A Wild Luxray

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Since Sun and Moon, the Pokemon anime has begun to break the traditional formula in many ways. Pokemon Journeys breaks the formula entirely by opting to focus on a story spread across all regions with elements of Pokemon Go rather than the current generation alone. Would you have preferred to see a more traditional series set in Galar with Ash or a new character focusing on a badge quest? Or do you think Journeys is just fine the way it is.
 

Craiden

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Mostly no, but I think I can get why people would answer yes. I love this concept, and while the first season has been a roller coaster, I do expect more consistency down the road. I like not being confined to one region (or at least the thought of it, because we know most of the series has been in Vermilli-Kanto, which isn't the same thing, btw). I do like the idea of character returns, also I like the Pokemon being caught not necessarily being due to "promotion." However, if you liked the games, I can understand wanting a "traditional" Pokemon series. as well.
 

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Yes, and I don't care who's writing these episodes because I want to see more of Galar and the Galar Pokemon. There's no excuse for a Pokemon like Grookey (a new starter) to not appear nearly 50 episodes in. It's embarrassing honestly. Since this is a series all about traveling across different regions, Galar and its Pokemon end up suffering as a result. I really would've preferred a SwSh series over Journeys. That way we would see more of Galar and its Pokemon.
 

Hidden Mew

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In a way, yes, but it isn't because I dislike Journeys. I can't judge the entire series thus far, but what I have seen has been pretty enjoyable. I like the dynamic between Ash and Goh, Goh's bond with Raboot is wonderful, all of the capture episodes for Ash's team thus far have been solid and it's just overall fun to watch. It isn't perfect by any means. The world traveling aspect has been handled rather poorly, the PWC is really off to an unimpressive start, although all of the hype I've read about it backfired is a factor too, and the lack of a prominent girl within the main cast is still an absolutely baffling decision to me.

I say yes because I would have liked to see them flesh out the Galar region, showcase more of the new Pokemon and give more screentime to the Galar characters. As nice as it is for Journeys to allow characters to capture Pokemon besides the one from the newest generation, I do wish that there was still more of a balance with showing more of the new Pokemon. Most of the other generations have had years, if not decades, worth of screentime within the anime, especially the first couple of generations, while the Galar Pokemon are still new. There are some nice locations within Galar that would have really been nice to see in the anime. They still could potentially see more of the region over the course of the series, but it's still more limited given the current region setup, especially when it is rare for them to spend more than one episode in a region.

I think it would be at least easier for them to incorporate the new rivals. As much as I love Hop, I'd be worried about how he could be handled in Journeys. He hasn't been seen or mentioned despite how Ash's goal is to battle Leon and he wasn't included for the Darkest Day arc. The anime doesn't have the best track record when it comes to video game rivals, or rivals in general for that matter, but I think they could have potentially introduced Hop sooner if he was going for the Gym challenge like Ash. Both Bede and Marnie could potentially be in the PWC, but I'm not sure if that would work out either, especially when Bede's relationship with Chairman Rose was kind of important to establish his personality.

I honestly think that Ash going for the Galar Gyms would be better than the PWC, at least in a way. Since the Gym Leaders there are supposed to be on the level of the Elite 4, it wouldn't be a step down or backwards after winning the Alola League. The PWC is a cool concept on paper and being able to bring back older characters in a natural way sounds great too, but I don't think that they're effectively making use of that concept if Ash has only battled against two recognized characters and everyone else is a random one-shot character who exist just to increase his ranks. It doesn't make me think that the matches will get better once he gets to the higher rank. It makes what should be important battles or moments feel boring and makes me way more uninterested in the PWC than I should be. Plus, the Gym challenge provides a clear sense of progression. The PWC has ranks, but how one climbs up those ranks isn't that clear. You win battles, but I'm thinking more of how the way the number rank themselves increase isn't quite clear. The Galar Gyms were fun, most of the Gym Leaders are memorable and I still had plenty of challenges against them. At least Journeys is going to showcase the Gym Leaders eventually and I assume Ash will be able to battle most of them too, so that helps.

Being a more traditional series wouldn't make it necessarily too predictable or the exact same thing. Despite other series being more traditional compared to SM or Journeys, I wouldn't say that they're identical. I don't think that people would mix up DP with XY or BW with AG. Every series tries out new ideas and concepts. It didn't just start with SM, so I don't think a more traditional Galar series would be any different in that regard.
 

Craiden

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In a way, yes, but it isn't because I dislike Journeys. I can't judge the entire series thus far, but what I have seen has been pretty enjoyable. I like the dynamic between Ash and Goh, Goh's bond with Raboot is wonderful, all of the capture episodes for Ash's team thus far have been solid and it's just overall fun to watch. It isn't perfect by any means. The world traveling aspect has been handled rather poorly, the PWC is really off to an unimpressive start, although all of the hype I've read about it backfired is a factor too, and the lack of a prominent girl within the main cast is still an absolutely baffling decision to me.

I say yes because I would have liked to see them flesh out the Galar region, showcase more of the new Pokemon and give more screentime to the Galar characters. As nice as it is for Journeys to allow characters to capture Pokemon besides the one from the newest generation, I do wish that there was still more of a balance with showing more of the new Pokemon. Most of the other generations have had years, if not decades, worth of screentime within the anime, especially the first couple of generations, while the Galar Pokemon are still new. There are some nice locations within Galar that would have really been nice to see in the anime. They still could potentially see more of the region over the course of the series, but it's still more limited given the current region setup, especially when it is rare for them to spend more than one episode in a region.

I think it would be at least easier for them to incorporate the new rivals. As much as I love Hop, I'd be worried about how he could be handled in Journeys. He hasn't been seen or mentioned despite how Ash's goal is to battle Leon and he wasn't included for the Darkest Day arc. The anime doesn't have the best track record when it comes to video game rivals, or rivals in general for that matter, but I think they could have potentially introduced Hop sooner if he was going for the Gym challenge like Ash. Both Bede and Marnie could potentially be in the PWC, but I'm not sure if that would work out either, especially when Bede's relationship with Chairman Rose was kind of important to establish his personality.

I honestly think that Ash going for the Galar Gyms would be better than the PWC, at least in a way. Since the Gym Leaders there are supposed to be on the level of the Elite 4, it wouldn't be a step down or backwards after winning the Alola League. The PWC is a cool concept on paper and being able to bring back older characters in a natural way sounds great too, but I don't think that they're effectively making use of that concept if Ash has only battled against two recognized characters and everyone else is a random one-shot character who exist just to increase his ranks. It doesn't make me think that the matches will get better once he gets to the higher rank. It makes what should be important battles or moments feel boring and makes me way more uninterested in the PWC than I should be. Plus, the Gym challenge provides a clear sense of progression. The PWC has ranks, but how one climbs up those ranks isn't that clear. You win battles, but I'm thinking more of how the way the number rank themselves increase isn't quite clear. The Galar Gyms were fun, most of the Gym Leaders are memorable and I still had plenty of challenges against them. At least Journeys is going to showcase the Gym Leaders eventually and I assume Ash will be able to battle most of them too, so that helps.

Being a more traditional series wouldn't make it necessarily too predictable or the exact same thing. Despite other series being more traditional compared to SM or Journeys, I wouldn't say that they're identical. I don't think that people would mix up DP with XY or BW with AG. Every series tries out new ideas and concepts. It didn't just start with SM, so I don't think a more traditional Galar series would be any different in that regard.
Oh, yeah, if this was directed at my post (though I have another reason for this) that wasn't to say "traditional" is bad. Far from it, as to your point, the best series have been traditional. And to your point, there are pluses to the Gym Challenge (though I cannot accept most of the Gym Leaders being "Elite 4" level) and to a traditional route in general. But the main reason I wanted to reply, is good answer.
 

Islander Princess

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This is a tough question. Ultimately, if I had to choose one or the other, I'd prefer a Sword and Shield series.

Journeys has been improving, in my opinion. But it still has a lot of flaws. For example, I absolutely love the world travel concept, but so far, Journeys has done a poor job of executing it. Not only are episodes in different regions awkwardly spaced, but the regions haven't been represented in the best light either. When Ash and Goh go somewhere, I want to see what makes that specific city in that region unique. A lot of them have just ended up looking and feeling cookie cutter, which to me, defeats the purpose of going to all these different places.

This has especially hurt Galar. I know it's the region outside of Kanto that's appeared the most thus far, but I still don't feel like we've really seen it. There's so much about Galar that's interesting and unique, and I find myself disappointed that a lot of it might end up getting skimmed over. For example, the gym battles. I know they've tried moving away from them in the anime, but the Galar battles are so cool and different! I'm a huge fan of SM, but I thought it was appalling how they handled trials in the anime, which also had the potential to be a lot more interesting. The fact that the same kind of thing might happen with the Galar gyms is disappointing. And while I do like the PWC, it's another thing that so far hasn't been handled the best and often times leaves me wanting more. I'd like to see Galar gyms somehow incorporated into it down the line; I think it'd help both the course of the PWC while also getting to see more of Galar.

Also, it's really weird how we've seen so few of the Galar Pokémon thus far. I mean, we haven't even seen Grookey yet, which is just bizarre. And because of how spaced out and sporadic the travel episodes are, it's going to take even longer than it has in other series. I'm all for seeing older Pokémon, but for brand new ones to get the shaft feels kind of wrong.

I just feel like after SM, which did such a great job of exploring Alola and really brought that region to life, this is a major drop off. I don't really feel connected to any of the regions they've gone to, including Galar, and that really takes away from the series as a whole for me. If this was an exclusively Sword and Shield anime, I think Galar would feel a lot more alive and the series would likely benefit from that.
 

A Wild Luxray

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I would have also preferred a Sword and Shield series over Journeys. Journeys isn't bad, but it has certain flaws that really make me wish we got a Galar focused anime instead.

First off, while the world tour aspect is good in concept, its executed poorly and Galar has suffered because of it. While it has seen the most screen time out of the other regions, besides Kanto, we haven't seen enough of Galar, its characters, or even its Pokemon. Galar has largely felt very dead every time we've gone. I mean they hardly fill the cities with anyone. Wyndon felt so dead and boring compared to the games. We've barely gotten to spend any time with Galar's characters and its Pokemon haven't gotten enough focus. I mean, Ash doesn't even have a Galarian Pokemon yet. And it took them so long to show Sobble and Grookey hasn't even debut yet after nearly 50 episodes. The starters are the first Pokemon to get featured, yet one has been left out completely so far. Also it just feels so wrong that Ash doesn't even have a Galarian starter. If Galar was the focus, we might actually get a good chance to see a more lively Galar, get to know its characters more, and see its Pokemon more.

Secondly, another thing that really makes me wish we got a Galar focused series is how poorly Ash's story has been handled, and the other side of the story I call Pokemon Go the anime. The PWC is good in concept also, but it has largely been underdeveloped and has suffered largely. There hasn't been enough focus on Ash's goal for this series and more of it has gone to Goh who honestly has the worst goal out of any protagonist the series has ever had. I can't stand how he has to be a Pokemon Go stand in and feels the need to catch everything for no good reason. These pointless captures have taken the joy out of capture episodes because he does it so frequently and those Pokemon are rarely seen and have little personality beyond loving Goh. The whole catch every Pokemon so Mew will notice me goal is so horrible and boring. Its not interesting and I can't even cheer for Goh because he does it all to easily. While he's becoming the writers pet, Ash's story has been suffering. There hasn't been enough focus and development on PWC and it makes me wish he was just off doing a Galar badge quest instead and didn't have to share the spotlight with a Pokemon Go stand in who gets far more of it than Ash does at times.

So, yeah. I really wish we got a series where Ash was traveling Galar with two other characters and competing in the gyms, or he was acting as a mentor to someone else competing in the gyms.
 

Hidden Mew

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Oh, yeah, if this was directed at my post (though I have another reason for this) that wasn't to say "traditional" is bad. Far from it, as to your point, the best series have been traditional. And to your point, there are pluses to the Gym Challenge (though I cannot accept most of the Gym Leaders being "Elite 4" level) and to a traditional route in general. But the main reason I wanted to reply, is good answer.

I wasn't trying to direct that comment towards your post. I've just seen other comments where people say that every other series was the same prior to SM because they used the more traditional Gym quest formula. The Elite 4 level was mostly based on how the Gym Leaders are treated and presented in the games, so I don't know if that would carry into the anime. But I think that would have potentially given the writers a reason to show that the Galar Gyms wouldn't be a step backwards for Ash after winning the Alola League. I don't think that they would have really needed to justify another badge quest when I don't think that the Alola League victory is that big of a deal, but presenting the Galar Gym quest as a big deal right after the Alola League victory would have helped.
 

Daren

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To be honest I wouldn't be too surprised if a lot of the long time writers are sick and tired of writing badge quests after doing so constantly for almost twenty years before Sun and Moon came out, though of course that's just conjecture. I wonder if maybe Daiki Tomiyasu isn't interested in doing one, seeing as he director both non-Gym series'?

For the topic thread I'd say that I at least find JN entertainingly hard to predict so speculation has been much more interesting than in the past; I was growing cynical about badge quests after AG and development since then has only strengthened that.
 

techitisJ

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I'm mixed. I can't quite judge Journeys yet, as I haven't seen most of the episodes. But I have seen a few here and there, and they are pretty fun from what I've seen. I think Ash and Goh's friendship is awesome, and they both work well as protagonists. Sure, it's a little more fun when Goh actually spends time catching his Pokemon, but I do like the fact that they are exploring having a protagonist that is more focused on the other core aspect of the series. The World Travel Concept is also really cool, and it keeps the series fresh, and fun.

But, I also would have liked to have a series full focused on Galar. It's no secret that I love Galar. The region is gorgeous with all sorts of different environments, and the characters and Pokemon are really fun. I have a soft spot for travel series, but then again the last two travel series we've seen, Unova and Kalos, honestly weren't all that interesting to me. I'm not sure if it's me finding this type of journey a little stale, or it was just how they were written. I do definitely think that Galar has suffered from a lack of representation in the anime. As mentioned, the characters and Pokemon are really cool, and we really haven't seen all that much of them since the anime started.

I can't seem to decide what I would have liked more. Honestly, I think the series could have benefitted from hybridization of the two series. This wouldn't have to be it, but this is just an idea I came up with. Basically, the Cerise Laboratory is located in Galar (probably Motostoke, and Ash went to Galar either for the gyms or the PWC. The two could still be assistants with the lab, as well as traveling around the region to work on research. This would also give the opportunity for Ash to travel and compete with whatever he is doing. They could also occasionally be pulled away to other regions like they are in Journeys now. Basically, this would give Galar better representation time, but also keep the series fresh and different. It wouldn't be too much like Alola, where Ash is staying in relatively the same place, as Ash and Goh would constantly be going to different parts of Galar, but it would be a little different from the typical traveling anime.
 

R1ke

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I'd personally take journeys for now. Although it has its fair share of problems, I reckon the pros outweigh the cons. I'm pretty lenient on the show because SM has shown me the first season is the worst and it's the writers first time trying to do this premise. A lot of the problems I have with Journeys have been 'back end' stuff (ie screentime between Ash's mons, TR/Chloe being underused, not enough PWC focused episodes, not enough travelling to other regions) rather than the actual plot/characters. Those are all things that I can realistically see improving down the line, they’re bound to improve as the show progresses anyways. To put it simply, I think the show has all the right pieces, the writers just need a better game plan for it. Season 1 has already shown improvements in several areas (such as fleshing out Goh's character/captures, Ash having a rival in the PWC, etc) that makes me optimistic for the show's future. This series has a lot of potential, and I genuinely think it'll only go up from here.

Another reason is that I want the writers to try something different, rather than repeat the same thing each time. The games have been so stagnant with Gen 8, and I'm just glad the anime isn't going down that road. Although a traditional series would turn out great, I've personally grown tired of the formula. DP/XY really honed that formula and perfected it in my eyes, and I can't help but feel that it's just trying to relive those glory days, rather than moving forward and potentially making something even better. I'd rather they take risks and try experimenting than redo the same thing over and over again - cause that's what keeps the show exciting for me. Journeys has been a wild ride, and I really can't imagine having this much excitement and interest in the show if it followed the traditional format. The show's been full of surprises to a point where I honestly can't predict what will happen in the future, and that is so awesome to think about.
 
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Kurolegacy

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I'd have rather them have gone with a more traditional series over Journeys personally. The concept for Journeys could have worked as the filler series between gens but using it in place of Sword and Shield has resulted in Gen 8 representation suffering as a whole. Not only did we end up with the Darkest Day plotline done on speed reading mode but its rung hollow with the characters involved and their resolutions. Sonia's entire path to ending up as a professor ends up a hollow victory when we really lack the entire narrative to her finding what she really wants to do with her life that we had built up throughout the course of the games. Likewise, Chairman Rose, going from the appearance of a benevolent businessman to being the true villain of the story isn't much of an engaging twist when we've known him for all of 5 seconds and the switch flips literally 1 episode later. Hell, Hop's narrative, which had been one of the better rival growths is completely absent despite his brother being Ash's goal. The whole setup for Journeys has caused Galar to suffer and even if they do spend time there, the quick travel results in Galar never getting the chance to be fleshed out which is especially a shame due to it being a region where the culture has a noticeable identity of its own.

And that's saying nothing about Ash's goal suffering. While the PWC sounds good on paper, its execution thus far has left much to be desired. It never really feels like Ash is really taking on much of a challenge sans when he battles an actual character from the games resulting in battles that just feel generic. Even with the prospect of rank, it all just feels so arbitrary in which they can rank Ash up whenever they feel like it rather than us having any real indication of how far along he really is like was the case with the badges. It couldn't have been shown worse than when they had Ash get knocked back down to normal class only for him to somehow instantly get back up to super class entirely offscreen. The whole thing just rings of being poorly thought out.
 

Rocket Messiah

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I don't care if it is in Galar, in Washington DC, in Capital Wasteland or in Skyrim. As long as the series threats Team Rocket as it should.

Since this series fails at writting Team Rocket a lot, for me it's a failure.

Let's not talk about the lack of worldbuilding, the Kanto pandering, and the lack of drama this series have.

And the Go mechanichs... I hate Pokémon Go, Pokémon Let's Go and Goh is a failure.

And what about the lack of characters... Sun and Moon did a better job at handling development.

I know that in another timeline we are watching Pokémon Sword and Shield with a female companion with Scorbunny Ash with Sobble and Jessie and James with Silcobra and Cramorant.

However we are still at episode 47 and I still have hope for some changes...
 

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After winning his first League Journeys and the PWC was an absolute necessity. He needs to be fighting E4 and Champion tier trainers which the World Championship provides. And Galar is overrated to began with so I don't mind the lack of focus
 

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Hard to say, because we're making comparisons to a version of the anime that doesn't even exist, so it's really easy to imagine that the grass would be greener then. Of course, the most likely reason that we didn't go back to a standard Gym Challenge for this saga is because it could end up feeling like a step back due to Ash having already won a League. I do have some ideas on how to make the Gym formula work without if feeling like a step back, though: lorewise, Galar is by far the most competitive region in the franchise so far, to the point that sponsorships are required to do the Gym Challenge, the Gym Leaders are as strong as the average Elite Four in-universe (and at least one is considered to be so strong that he could easily become Champion in any other region), and the Champion himself has literally never lost a single match since the moment he picked up his first Pokeball. With these factors in mind, maybe we could have had a Galar-focused saga where the Galar Gym challenge can only be entered by trainers who have won at least one League Championship, and there could even be allusions to the "minor League" which in the anime would be just like every other League we've seen in the past, and rookie trainers would have to challenge that one first before taking on the major division. Also, because of the "only Championship winners can enter" rule, this could also be a neat opportunity for Ash's past League rivals (most of which ended up winning their respective League) to make a comeback and for Ash to have a rematch. And in the case of Champions that Ash never got to battle, such as Virgil or whoever won the Kanto and Johto Leagues, actually get to battle them.
 

Hidden Mew

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After winning his first League Journeys and the PWC was an absolute necessity. He needs to be fighting E4 and Champion tier trainers which the World Championship provides. And Galar is overrated to began with so I don't mind the lack of focus

I don't think that the PWC was a necessity. The Alola League wasn't a factor as to why Ash decided to enter the PWC, it hasn't even been mentioned as far as I'm aware of and the PWC is open for anyone to enter. It was most likely the out-of universe reason for the writers to not go back to the more traditional Gym quest, but it has virtually nothing to do with Journeys at this point. I still don't think that winning the Alola League was that big of a deal either. Ash winning a League set on easy mode doesn't make me think he needed to face off against Elite 4 and Champion tier trainers. Aside from possibly Bea, based on what I've heard about her at least, he hasn't really faced off against any really powerful trainers yet. Ash beating a stand-in for Lt. Surge or random one shot trainers with random Pokemon doesn't make me think that he's on his way to defeat Elite 4 or Champion tier trainers. It makes the goal look as boring as dirt and doesn't give me much hope that it will magically become better once Ash possibly gets to higer ranks.

Putting my feelings about the Alola League and the PWC on the side for a moment, I think it would have been relatively easy to adapt the Galar Gym challenge without making it feel like a step backwards or negate Ash's Alola League accomplishment. It's already a more competitive Gym quest than we've seen in other region and Raihan is considered strong enough to become a Champion in another region, so the anime could have potentially just emphasized how the Gym Leaders are pretty much on the same level as the Elite 4 or at least make note of how they're the strongest set of Gym Leaders in the world. The latter wouldn't even be a huge stretch when they already effectively made Leon the strongest trainer in the world due to being the top ranked trainer in the PWC.

Journeys would be ten times better with a single change- the home base should be at Magnoila's lab and not Kanto.

That would really help a lot. We could potentially have seen more of Galar or at least its Pokemon. Working at Magnoila's lab might have helped give more attention to Sonia's storyline too.
 

Black&White

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Also the old formula was getting stale. SM was a good step in the right direction and I'm glad the new series is continuing that. Plus Ash finally got a Lucario which would have never happened in a standard Galar series.

I was for him catching Sobble but after it went to Go I'm kind of happy. He doesn't need Galar starters or many Galar Pokemon this time
 
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