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Writer Tomioka Appreciation Post

LagCross

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With Ash's upcoming battle with Bea underway, I went to check out on long-time writer Atsuhiro Tomioka to see why he is highly regarded by fans. Turns out from what I have observed, he wrote a lot episodes considered by fans the best. Not to discredit Shudo since he put on the foundations of the anime on what will it become and gave us the TRio (team Rocket Trio), Tomioka is the one who flushes out the plot and put strong character developments for some of the casts. Although to be fair, not all of the episodes he wrote are good and some of them can be considered bad. But he is very consistent and he knows the characters well enough.

Here are some of my favorite episodes: Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden, Ash vs Gary Johto League Battles, Most of Ash vs Paul Battles, Charizard return in BW, Ash vs Clemont gym battle and Ash's Inceneroar's Character Arc.

Now what are your opinions of this writer and tell your favorite episodes written by him.
 

BigDocFan

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Atsuhiro Tomioka is often known for call backs to previous episodes, a strong favourite of mine has to be Pikachu Revolts! which helped highlight Cassidy and Buzzsaw for being a real threat compared to Jessie and James, I think he was responsible for all the Paul battles which were great, Paul is easily the best, if not one of the best rivals out there
 

ii kanji

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I revered him as a god back when DP was airing for the trouble he took during the series to develop Musashi’s contest arc and for allowing the TRio to get some long needed character development over the course of the series, that elevated them out of the flanderisation hole they had gotten into during Johto till early/mid DP.

The peak moment of these two things combined was DP146, the Kojilina vs Hikari contest where Kojiro entered on Musashi’s behalf because she was sick, which Tomioka wrote himself. A lot of people remember how much personal responsibility he had for the Satoshi/Shinji rivalry but he was equally the person who himself wrote a lot of the key episodes in Hikari’s contest arc, hence the direct input when it came to Musashi’s. The progression of her shifting from wanting to win at all costs to wanting to achieve success for herself, and Kojiro and Nyasu from exasperated disregard to genuine support, was massive and proved to be a permanent change for all 3, later demonstrated most obviously when Musashi did the Tripokalon in XY but even in smaller ways otherwise since.

I’m not 100% on the Tomioka worship bandwagon (the guy has made some fuckups, see: BW), but I really rate him for his commitment to quality story telling as both script writer and series constructor in an anime that, as Yonemura is currently demonstrating, you can kind of get away by doing by numbers.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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That would be Shinzō Fujita
He also wrote Ash vs Cameron. Do y think that if they had a different writer write that episode that Ash would win Kalos? Honestly he makes Ash do dumb things.

He did write the debut of Ash Greninja though
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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Looking at the list, Tomioka wrote my favorite episode in the anime (XY140) so he must have been the mastermind behind the kiss of Ash and Serena.
 

BigDocFan

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He also wrote Ash vs Cameron. Do y think that if they had a different writer write that episode that Ash would win Kalos? Honestly he makes Ash do dumb things.

He did write the debut of Ash Greninja though
I'd like to think that his losses might have been a bit more believable, especially against a trainer who bought only 5 Pokemon to a full battle
 

A Wild Luxray

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That would be Shinzō Fujita
He's written some rather hated episodes, like Ash's loss in the Kalos League, his Unova League loss, Goodra's release, and the Unova League Axew filler.

Tomioka though is one of my favorite writers. Though he has done some meh episodes, a lot of his are some of the greatest episodes, like Ash and Paul's battles, the episode where Ash and Greninja master Battle Bond, the last DP episode, and Ash's gym battle with Clemont. He's great at character driven and developmental episodes. If a battle episode is written by him also, I always have high hopes. There's no wonder why Tomioka and Iwane are considered the dream team.
 
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Enzo

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That would be Shinzō Fujita
He's written some rather hated episodes, like Ash's loss in the Kalos League, his Unova League loss, Goodra's release, and the Unova League Axew filler.
I'm aware he's not fully in control of those decisions, so... man. I feel bad about the guy now. Damn.
 

Daren

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Tomioka is also notable in that he wrote the third episode of the show and the first episode not written by Takeshi Shudo. Earlier noteworthy battles he wrote also include the Johto League vs Gary and the Orange League Drake match.
*
I'm aware he's not fully in control of those decisions, so... man. I feel bad about the guy now. Damn.
Yeah, Fujita likely had zero say in what happened in those episodes. Poor guy just got stuck with some episodes people were going to hate no matter what he did. I think I've read about writers in the comic book industry getting stuck writing a story they think is awful by editorial mandate.
 

Dogasu

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Exactly. People need to realize that the individual writers are not the ones responsible for the big series-wide decisions that fans hate so much. It's not their fault if they happen to get assigned "the episode where Satoshi loses the Kalos League"; sometimes you just have to write what you're told to write if you want to keep your job.
 

KrspaceT

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No writer has a perfect record, just ask most any comic writer. Most any of them would have a list of OH GOD WHY!

(See all the famous names attached to Avengers 200 for example)

Same with Tomioka, but hey if you want to trust a guy with something big, its hard to find a better person.

(I mean they could hire me, but that would be terrible.)
 

Enzo

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Yeah, Fujita likely had zero say in what happened in those episodes. Poor guy just got stuck with some episodes people were going to hate no matter what he did. I think I've read about writers in the comic book industry getting stuck writing a story they think is awful by editorial mandate.
You know, I was thinking about it and man... that's tough.

I mean, these eps listed aren't just some slightly controversial eps which slightly controversial decisions happening on them: we are talking about some of the arguably most hated eps and decisions not only in their own individual series but of the entire anime. It's probably one of the only few things that almost universally agreed on with the near entire fandom.

I wonder how that guy feels about it tbh. Like... some of his work is simply some of the most detested of the entire anime. A 25-years long running anime with over 1100 eps at that, so it's not a small thing at all. Just to repeat: this was clearly not something he himself decided on and it's all on the higher ups and he only did what he was told to do, but it must sting like a *****.
 

Nicolas721

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Tomioka is a writter by no means perfect like everyone, but I appreciate all the contributions he has done to the series in almost 25 years, specially in the battle and character aspects of the show. It's no secret that the Ash vs Paul battle is the fans' favorite battle and is written by him, so this is the perfect opportunity to talk about why is it so great:

  • Set up: Unlike Ash and Gary, Ash and Paul's rivalry is built upon different viewpoints about battles and strength, so from the beginning it's clear those differences can only be cleared up in a battle. The battle being constantly hyped during Paul's final appearances only added up to the anticipation. There's also their individual stories and how their changed during DP with stuff like Chimchar or the Lake Acuity battle but that is also worthy of their own analysis.
  • Pacing: The battle lasts 3 episodes and makes excellent use of every second, no moment is wasted. From the first episode you see Pokemon being knocked out and strategies happening, and overall it feels like all 3 episodes are equally important. While Infernape vs Electivire is obviously the climax, all of the small battles are treated with respect and importance.
  • Strategies: Paul's Pokemon have very diverse movepools and strategies that drive Ash to his limit, and there's even strategies that come back from previous episodes or ones that are recycled with a twist later in the battle.
  • Lack of balance: One would think that a battle when the two sides are equal is usually more entertaining and thrilling to watch, but this battle proved that the opposite could be fun too, as sometimes it's Paul who clearly has the advantage and sometimes it's Ash. Seeing that constant power struggle keeps you on the edge on your seat.
Overall, it's a fantastic battle that I really hope Tomioka (or someone inspired by him) gets to replicate someday.
 

Picardluke

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Didn’t Tomioka write the Iris, Volkner and Bea battles in the current series? While I enjoyed all 3 battles, they do have some questionable aspects which makes me wonder if he’s changed his writing style over the years.
 

R1ke

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Oh Tomioka is great. It's no wonder he wrote most of DP, Ash vs Kukui (the first 3 eps), Team flare arc, Litten/Stoutland episode and the Ash-Greninja arc in Snowbelle. He has a thorough understanding of how to flesh out characters, build suspense and provide satisfying payoff for the character's journey. He's also great at focusing on the little things.

Even in Journeys, his episodes just hit different. He actually shows Ash's full team, packs in continuity references and makes Ash use new and unorthodox strategies. He actually tries with the battles and gives them more depth. Like the constant switching and even bringing back hidden abilities (in episode 60). He's making the most of what he's given and he actually tries with the battles to make them more enjoyable and engaging. I wish he wrote more episodes honestly, he knows what he's doing.
 
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