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Review XY131: Kalos League Victory! Satoshi's Ultimate Match!!

Pikachu's Global Adventure
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And there was tons of hints pointing to a victory, in the anime and outside of it. I mean every scan was like "Will Ash finally win?" I thought of like 12 valid reasons in the anime of why he could win, but he didn't. Looking back at some things, like the depression arc, it all seems redundant now.
The point about the depression arc was that Ash-Greninja's power is not based on winning, is based on the bond and how much you care about your Pokémon. It was fully mastered when a Pokémon was endangered. I might sound like a broken record, but I still feel that the League is not exactly over. At least for Alain and Ash. Alain I can only see humiliation conga from here on out. For Ash, this is where Ash-Greninja dwarfs Mega Charizard X if Olympia's prophecy is anything to go by. I think Orange Shuriken is the key.
 
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There's been a handful of ways I've seen people deal with this here. Resentment, anger, resignation, despair, even acceptance in my end. How one moves on from this can distinguish the Pokémon fans from the Pokémon anime fans.

Regardless of this, I still love the franchise. No overexposed black/blue dragon and its edgelord of a trainer is going to stop that.
 
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The point about the depression arc was that Ash-Greninja's power is not based on winning, is based on the bond and how much you care about your Pokémon. It was fully mastered when a Pokémon was endangered. I might sound like a broken record, but I still feel that the League is not exactly over. At least for Alain and Ash. Alain I can only see humiliation conga from here on out. For Ash, this is where Ash-Greninja dwarfs Mega Charizard X if Olympia's prophecy is anything to go by. I think Orange Shuriken is the key.
All of that only for a loss though was a very big letdown though. And given Alain's status as an unintentional Team Flare accomplice, there could be some things to be settled. I remember you saying something about Alain selling Ash out or something, though XY 132 does seem like it points to them joining sides.
 
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Oh well, here we go again. Another league victory that was given to somebody else and not to Ash ...
Honestly, I expected this would happen because you gotta admit that Alan is simply a bit stronger...but still, I just can't help but be disappointed right now :(
After all those years of waiting, it just doesn't feel right
 
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Why do people keep talking like they know what the producers are thinking? "Status quo"? Satoshi may not have won but a lot of the so called status quo was broken in XY.
MAYBE they don't want him to win ever. Or MAYBE they want to make him lose until the anime is reaching its end.

Or, maybe people are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Why does losing has to be treated as such a huge deal breaker? There clearly was progress. A progress that was only interrupted by Best Wishes, but then again anyone should know by now Best Wishes was a mistake.
How can you be so sure they're not intentionally making him progress in baby steps? The league is a BIG deal in the anime's canon. It's not like in the game where anyone with a functioning brain can get badges then go straight to Elite Four, with no audience, no serious competition, no "Champion League", nothing.

I've always been baffled with the constant anime x game comparisons. It's fairly easy to think this is absurd if you're gonna compare the both. In the game catching 300+ pokemon is stupidly simple. In the game you're called a "Pokemon Master" for beating a joke of a "league" and facing generic trainers who can't even command their pokemon properly. In the game the MC is the player's avatar. You're EXPECTED to win the league and just enjoy the post-game. None of that works in the anime. And before anyone brings up Origin, the whole point of origin was to play around with the first game's nostalgia. "Red" in the anime is, like the game, a representation of the player. People who watched it likely DID catch 150 pokemon and win the league. The message of the "main" anime is completely different.

Should people not be disappointed by Satoshi losing? Of course not. If you're disappointed it's probably a good thing. You were engaged enough that you cared. But you have to keep in mind how much importance the anime puts into those victories. Hell, even GYM challenges are made a big deal.

Another thing I wish more people paid attention to is that despite this so-called status quo the quality of the stories and battles leading up to the league (and likely the post-league events going by the build up to Team Flare) has increased quite a bit. There is more to the anime than the likelihood of Satoshi winning a league.

Lastly, about the "reset". There was no such thing in XY. Why do people still talk like it's absolutely going to be a thing next series? In fact aside from a few head-scratching slip ups by the writing (forgetting he has to weaken pokemon, which was just a very bad excuse to teach the audience) in the second or third episode of AG or DP (forgot which) Satoshi didn't reset to being a complete newbie in any series but Best Wishes. The only thing that resets is his team, which obviously has to be re-trained.

this is creepy
The name is guillotine, the red background and the fact that it hit goodra's neck.
Goodra would have died if it was a mature anime or the manga
IMHO that sort of edgyness is Sonic 2006 level and has no place in Pokemon media IMO.
 
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Okay, so my thoughts... I'm salty, there is no doubt about that. I really wanted to watch Ash win and throughout the episode, I was with Team Rocket. That's impressive to be honest since I haven't been invested in pokémon for a long time and the fact I cared for the final battle shows how much the writers have put into this arc and series. Kudos to them.
 
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Watch the rest of the XY series pal.
Alain did deserve to win. They're stronger, there's no reason why Ash can't become better. I still love the anime, and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters. I'm just glad that it's still going and improving all the time. He has hit a peak, so he has still grown even though he didn't win. Hopefully he continues to improve with the anime. :)
 
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All of that only for a loss though was a very big letdown though. And given Alain's status as an unintentional Team Flare accomplice, there could be some things to be settled. I remember you saying something about Alain selling Ash out or something, though XY 132 does seem like it points to them joining sides.
There's a scene where Ash is being crucified into some battery generator at sunset. There's also a scene of Alain looking down during that same sunset. Ash is calling out to Alain in the preview, meaning that Alain is likely present there. And if he is present there and not taken down by Flare Grunts, there's a good chance he's still part of Team Flare. And judging from the second preview, Ash and Alain were together alone as they head to the Prism Tower. Just Ash and Alain. And Ash is seen later unconscious. One could easily assume that Alain did in fact betrayed Ash. And if that is the case... yup, he cemented himself as a villain to me. And one who needs Ash to teach him a lesson in shame.

Oh well, here we go again. Another league victory that was given to somebody else and not to Ash ...
Honestly, I expected this would happen because you gotta admit that Alan is simply a bit stronger...but still, I just can't help but be disappointed right now :(
After all those years of waiting, it just doesn't feel right
That's because it isn't. I wrote this in my review, but I felt that the final battle and music was a bit off. Additionally, there was something... artificially about Alain's victory, like it wasn't suppose to happen. And that's when Team Flare attacks. Thinking about it, Ash losing contributed to atmosphere of dread that was about to occur. It feels wrong because it is wrong. It was like how could this bad news get worse, and then Flare unleashed a super weapon. It's that type of dread that makes me want to see the rest of the arc. This League is not over. Far from it.
 
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Alain did deserve to win.
I believe the argument is that he didn't deserve to win more than Ash. For many people (and I count myself amongst these), Alain has not proven himself to be a deserving champion. Compare his journey to Ash: he's been manipulated from the very start, has shown contempt (in my interpretation) for those who he regards as weaker. Look at his semi-final match up, he just walked off, no congratulations or well done. Poor sportsmanship in comparison to Ash who, if you remember at the start of the tournament, doesn't look down on those who can't complete the gym circuit. He has never had a desire to become champion, unlike Ash. Ash has shown sportsmanship, has not contributed to Team Flare's schemes and overall respects the bonds of Pokemon more than Alain

Alain was obsessed with strength and still is. Only this time, he sees strength as a means to an end. Even in the battle, you saw him obsess over it. This obsession, in my opinion, makes him an unworthy winner.
 
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There's a scene where Ash is being crucified into some battery generator at sunset. There's also a scene of Alain looking down during that same sunset. Ash is calling out to Alain in the preview, meaning that Alain is likely present there. And if he is present there and not taken down by Flare Grunts, there's a good chance he's still part of Team Flare. And judging from the second preview, Ash and Alain were together alone as they head to the Prism Tower. Just Ash and Alain. And Ash is seen later unconscious. One could easily assume that Alain did in fact betrayed Ash. And if that is the case... yup, he cemented himself as a villain to me. And one who needs Ash to teach him a lesson in shame.
I agree that he probably won't be taken down by any Grunts or anything and that Lysandre is probably going to come up to him going "Well done, Alain." I can't see him doing completely villainous things though without him being tricked.

IMHO that sort of edgyness is Sonic 2006 level and has no place in Pokemon media IMO.
So edgy, though I think more of Shadow the Hedgehog edgyness. That was the edgiest Sonic game ever.
 
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I believe the argument is that he didn't deserve to win more than Ash. For many people (and I count myself amongst these), Alain has not proven himself to be a deserving champion. Compare his journey to Ash: he's been manipulated from the very start, has shown contempt (in my interpretation) for those who he regards as weaker. Look at his semi-final match up, he just walked off, no congratulations or well done. Poor sportsmanship in comparison to Ash who, if you remember at the start of the tournament, doesn't look down on those who can't complete the gym circle. He has never had a desire to become champion, unlike Ash. Ash has shown sportsmanship, has not contributed to Team Flare's schemes and overall respects the bonds of Pokemon more than Alain

Alain was obsessed with strength and still is. Only this time, he sees strength as a means to an end. Even in the battle, you saw him obsess over it. This obsession, in my opinion, makes him an unworthy winner.
The saddest part? Alain's win validates his philosophy in a way. It's comparable to Trip winning the PWT Junior Cup, but at least he got mercilessly crushed by Alder afterwards.
 
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Firstly, congratulations to Ash for making it to the final two. Well done!

I wasn't too surprised by the outcome, however that may be due to my cynical nature... it's a pity, I wish the writers would overcome this "fear" for lack of a better word, of Ash winning, as we are all aware that even with League victories, becoming a Pokemon Master would still be an elusive goal to reach.

What I didn’t like about Alain winning wasn’t much to do with the match, or his Pokemon, to be honest- it was what it symbolised. Unlike Ash, Alain’s reasons to compete in the League felt rather shallow- and he had even stated, episodes back, that he hadn’t much of an intention of entering the league. Of course, for plot reasons (and I’m going to be very cynical when I say this, also due to Alain fulfilling a role of being the very formidable rival to defeat Ash) the writers decided to have him enter. So, essentially, a person who didn’t really have any personal, emotional attachment to the concept of the League itself wins the League. That hurts. It especially hurts when you consider Takeru’s role in the first episode of this League: he reminds Ash of those people who dream to be a competitor and yet they don’t achieve it, for whatever reason. He urges Ash to remember these people and carry on their dreams; so for Ash to lose to someone whose feelings towards the League itself are less than passionate... it's tough to stomach. (I understand that one could argue people like Virgil didn't seem very passionate about the League either, but I feel XY set up a narrative that makes this victory a little harsher for me)

Of course, what it represents is very realistic. Some people will be skilled at something even if it isn’t their predominant interest/passion/hobby. Some people mightn’t succeed as easily even if they’re passionate.

This narrative is a little unfortunate however, and not one that the Pokemon anime is attempting to parade, but that's how it comes across as to me.
 
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This kind of ties into why I was so heavily against Alain winning, on top of him seeming so perfect. His obsession with strength kind of gives off the wrong lesson, unlike the messages Ash gives off about good sportsmanship, compassion, and trust.
 
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I agree that he probably won't be taken down by any Grunts or anything and that Lysandre is probably going to come up to him going "Well done, Alain." I can't see him doing completely villainous things though without him being tricked.
He's not exactly a villain, more of an anti-villain. But the fact he hasn't comes to terms with the fact that Team Flare is evil and wants to turn Ash Ketchum into an Ash Battery by this point of the episode, I safely say he's not on my list of sympathetic characters. Thus I consider Alain to be intentionally hated. Like the producers knew exactly what the reaction would be and have audience direct their anger at Alain since it was only a sliver of difference that determined the match (unlike Tobias where you can most definitely blame the writers).

This is why I love and hate Alain. I love him for his character and hate him for his actions.
 
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There's been a handful of ways I've seen people deal with this here. Resentment, anger, resignation, despair, even acceptance in my end.
You forgot delusions about Alain's being nullified due to his association with Team Flare, and the league being "far from over".
 
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He's not exactly a villain, more of an anti-villain. But the fact he hasn't comes to terms with the fact that Team Flare is evil and wants to turn Ash Ketchum into an Ash Battery by this point of the episode, I safely say he's not on my list of sympathetic characters. Thus I consider Alain to be intentionally hated. Like the producers knew exactly what the reaction would be and have audience direct their anger at Alain since it was only a sliver of difference that determined the match (unlike Tobias where you can most definitely blame the writers).

This is why I love and hate Alain. I love him for his character and hate him for his actions.
He's going to in the next few episodes and its the one thing I wait for. His fall from grace. This win definitely does redirect some hatred, as being a member of Team Flare, though hopefully they can redeem him.

I just can't like him though, because he's been shown to just be too perfect. With him losing like once the whole series and going on to have a string of wins that led to him winning a league bugs me. He wasn't a last minute character, which puts him above Tobias, but still almost as perfect. Fully developed though, yest. Also I've already said what I need to say about Charizard. His actions are pretty bad though, but there is grace in his actions at the same time, as he is trying to protect others, but he is the danger in the first place though sooooooo yeah.
 
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He's going to in the next few episodes and its the one thing I wait for. His fall from grace. This win definitely does redirect some hatred, as being a member of Team Flare, though hopefully they can redeem him.

I just can't like him though, because he's been shown to just be too perfect. With him losing like once the whole series and going on to have a string of wins that led to him winning a league bugs me. He wasn't a last minute character, which puts him above Tobias, but still almost as perfect. Also I've already said what I need to say about Charizard. His actions are pretty bad though, but there is grace in his actions at the same time, as he is trying to protect others, but he is the danger in the first place though sooooooo yeah.
I like him because of how much of a fool he is following Team Flare, I hate him for not realizing that he's been fooled. It's a bit more complicated than that, but Alain is the type of character I love to hate. You know, I do want him to side with Team Flare now instead of realizing he's been duped from the beginning. It's makes him an interesting antagonist and it would erase most of the sympathy you have with Alain as a good person. He'll be redeemed in the end but by that point, he has proven himself to be a lesser to Ash.

Plus it will give the catalyst for a final rematch and some other things.
 
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I like him because of how much of a fool he is following Team Flare, I hate him for not realizing that he's been fooled. It's a bit more complicated than that, but Alain is the type of character I love to hate. You know, I do want him to side with Team Flare now instead of realizing he's been duped from the beginning. It's makes him an interesting antagonist and it would erase most of the sympathy you have with Alain as a good person. He'll be redeemed in the end but by that point, he has proven himself to be a lesser to Ash.

Plus it will give the catalyst for a final rematch and some other things.
I can understand why you love and hate him at the same time. Honestly I hate that I sympathize with him at times, because he is too perfect and he has good intentions. Him siding with Team Flare would make for a good final rematch though. I want Greninja to pull through and take back what was rightfully his and Ash's.
 
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If Ash is okay about losing and Alain winning then so am I. The writers know what they are doing and this was an alright league.
 
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