Pokemon Sun and Moon Anime Discussion

Discussion in 'The Anime Forum' started by Marc Johnson, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. _Dog

    _Dog New Member

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    ^ Whatever happens to those Pokémon won't mean anything in the long run, as they'll get written out by the time the next Gen Pokémon games get released. That means you're watching nothing but filler.

    It's sad the Pokémon anime has become this predictable, but it's the truth. Nothing you guys discuss will matter anything whatsoever as they'll have no relevance not long from now. It happened with XY and I'm certain the same thing will happen with SM.

    The Pokémon anime is a disgrace. It needs new people working on it to actually push the premise of Ash becoming a Pokémon Master instead of having him, Pikachu and Team Rocket run around in circles and where everyone else gets thrown in and tossed out like a disposable diaper.
     
  2. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    New writers wouldn't really necessarily change anything. It certainly wouldn't stop them from Ash's team always being left at Professor Oak's place at the end of each series. Since the show has always been meant to promote the games, that does limit how much the writers can actually do in some areas. If they are told that they need to promote certain Pokemon in the anime, then they have to do so. That's the entire purpose behind the show. They aren't going to keep Ash's older Pokemon, aside from Pikachu due to being the mascot of the franchise, unless they tie int with a current generation because they need to promote the newest games.

    I can understand if the lack of a beginning, middle and end of Ash's journey bothers you, but at the same time, it's not really worth getting so upset about it, especially when this shouldn't be considered a new development. It still should have been clear by DP, if not by AG, that the writes weren't interested in making Ash a Pokemon Master. I don't think that makes everything in every series entirely pointless. There is still character development, although seen more so in Ash's friends than in for himself, and there is usually a beginning, middle and end to each of his journeys in each series. Plus, if people enjoy the series as they are, which many people do, then I don't think that makes them pointless or a waste of time in that regard either.
     
  3. Checkerboard

    Checkerboard THE HOME OF THE TOP TOON STARS

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    Yeah, I agree with what you said. True. It's obvious by now. At the same time I can understand why for some people Pokémon has become irrelevant and why are some people even upset - precisely because of being stuck in a loop and being at the core about making money instead of proper content. Merchandise is what drives the series forward and is keeping it alive. Not the creators behind the show. The series is here to support the merchandise and vice versa. It's a shame, but that's sadly how it is. It's basically a trap, because similarly to live action soap operas there is no real ending. They just softly reboot and start over every time even though there's some small continuity in between to tie things together. And I'm really too old for that to not see through it and pretend like I still find the series exciting. I don't, because it's become repetetive. I started watching the original series when it was new and came out, more less, and was hooked at the time. It was super catchy and fresh. When Johto came I started questioning things and was confused a bit that they would just add a dozen more Pokémon and call it a day. But I still watched and somewhat liked it, because they did it for the first time. Not to mention the team members, their Pokémon and the locations changing as well. But then the same thing happened again with Advance. And again with DP. And again with BW. And again with XY. And again with SM. At this point I don't care even about new intros, which was something that actually kept me interested in the recent years. But even the intros have become mediocre. You can repeat things only so much and you can keep a show on air only for so long. That Pokémon should have ended, had it not become this global phenomenon, is quite clear. They didn't expect the show to be such a hit when it premiered and it shows. It's super stretched. There really isn't much left to do beyond celebrating 1000 episodes as an anime milestone after celebrating 20 years. Naruto is in a similar position and suffers from the same fate, but at least with Naruto there is much more evident character development, world building and progress. Pokémon at its core is all in all quite simple. And maybe that's the appeal, that anyone can get into it, but you can't blame people for slowly tuning out over the years demanding something more sophisticated, complex and mature. The Simpsons, staying in animation, have ran their course too and are a thing mainly due to them still making money. But creatively the show is dead and has become somewhat of a joke. It's really a shame since the early half of the show, similarly to Pokémon, is really good and holds up well to this day. There was more creative input and effort, because they had no choice if they wanted to stay on the air and they also really loved the show. It showed. Now the show's just on, because it became a pop culture icon and there's not much effort put into it, because it's not needed. The Simpsons, similarly to Pokémon, already made their mark. They're not going to cancel it, despite the backlash, out of principle. Unfortunately the market is oversaturated with similar content, same again as with Pokémon, and many people have just moved on regardless of numbers. Products of their time that feel dated, out of place and can't bring anything new as they have changed the market when they debuted decades ago. It's fine if you still love Pokémon to this day and watch it with hope that it will eventually get a closure, but at the same time I think you should be able to see and understand why some people including myself have lost interest.
     
  4. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    While I can understand what you're saying. the show at its core has always been about making money. Granted, you could argue that's the intent of any show since at the end of the day, the people behind the scene and the companies investing in the shows still want to make money, but for a toyetic show like Pokemon, that has been the main objective from day one. They needed to promote the games and thus they created the show. You could argue that it wasn't as apparent when the series first started given that it was fresh, new and the writers were still figuring out what they wanted to do with the anime for awhile, but the only reason the anime was made and still keeps going is because they want to tie in with the video games.

    I can understand not liking it, but much like being stuck in a loop and being repetitive, this shouldn't be a new development. We certainly didn't need to wait until twenty years later to realize Ash is just going to keep on traveling around without actually becoming a Pokemon Master. This has been clear for a long time.

    They added more than a dozen more Pokemon and called it a day with Johto. Unless you're referring to the amount of new Pokemon on the main cast, the second generation had a hundred new Pokemon, a new region and new Gyms to face off against. Not to mention the second half of the games was going off to Kanto again. None of the other series just threw in new Pokemon either. AG, DP, BW, XY and SM are all unique from each other because they try out different concepts and storylines for those series' run. Ash doesn't become a Pokemon Master, but there was still a sense of progression with his skills as a trainer through the first three series and he had some genuinely good character moments in XY for what that is worth. The majority of the character development tends to go to his friends since they're around for only one series. The show is still repetitive, but it's not like you've seen one episode, you've seen them all. Each series is usually pretty distinct, which is probably one reason why the repetitive aspect never bothered me too much. The show usually tries something new after awhile to create a new status quo for a few years before moving onto a new series.

    Although, I'll agree that the dub openings have been lackluster for awhile. TPCI's openings are usually pretty hit or miss for me. Even an okay opening from them is fantastic.

    I'm not too familiar with Naruto, so I can't really compare it with Pokemon that much. Plus, Naruto is a popular Shonen series, while Pokemon is a show aimed at kids designed to sell merchandise. That's one reason why the comparison doesn't quite work for me. I know that Shippuden was stretched beyond belief, even lasting a good year or so after the manga ended, but in spite of that, it seems like the general public still want more Naruto content. They were able to afford stretching the series that much shows that the general public/fans of the series were still into it and they went into a Boruto series not too long after Shippuden finished. There's probably still a lot of merchandise for the series, along with novel.

    I can understand why people would want to have something more for the anime, but at the same time, demanding something more sophisticated, complex and mature from the Pokemon anime seems a bit much. It's like demanding all children shows have to be appealing to adults, regardless of the target audience. I'm not trying to say that being a kid's show means bad writing is perfectly fine. I've pointed out what I think is bad writing plenty of times for Pokemon, but it comes off like expecting/demanding more for a kid show just because you're an older fan. It's like demanding every kid show to be a Steven Universe level of quality when not every kid show can or should have to be forced into that expectation.

    This comparison makes a tad more sense than the one with Naruto, but primarily for both shows being repetitive. I'm pretty sure that the backlash against Pokemon isn't anywhere near as noticeable as The Simpsons though. It is certainly not uncommon for people to complain about The Simpsons still airing, but I don't think a lot of people know that Pokemon is still even airing new episodes. I've seen people who are genuinely surprised that Pokemon is still on TV, so I don't think that the backlash between the two shows is really that similar. It is pretty common for people to lose interest in the anime for various reasons, but instead of complaining that the show is still going on, most people just stop watching it and move on.

    Now I like the original Pokemon series all fine and dandy, but I don't think that was the anime's greatest point. It is still enjoyable to watch, but I still think that the best the series thus far was DP and a lot of people really enjoyed the XY series too. If we're talking about the Kanto portion of the original series, it was still trying to figure out what it wanted to be, most of the battles really aren't that good and the Indigo League was just disappointing. I'm not sure if they had to be creative in order to stay on the air, especially when the game' popular would guarantee them at least one series regardless of their choices, or that they loved working on the original series much more so than anything of the other series. I think that the latter is presuming a bit too much about the writers based on your own feelings towards the show. I don't know if Pokemon feels that dated or out of place, but I've also been used to watching it all these years. As far as bringing anything new to the table, I'm still not sure about that given each series does try out different ideas with different characters and storylines.

    First of all, I'm not watching the show in the hopes that it will eventually get a sense of closure. If I was, I probably would be more frustrated with it like a lot of other people are. I've just never found a good reason to drop the show. I still enjoy it, I watch reruns from one of my various DVD box sets pretty much every day and I do feel a sense of comfortable knowing that, in spite of everything that changes around me, I can still wake up to new Pokemon episodes every Saturday. I realized a long time ago that the show is a never ending journey with no chance of Ash becoming a Pokemon master, but that didn't really bother me. I didn't start watching the show just because I wanted to see Ash become a Pokemon Master. I started watching it because I liked the characters, I like Pokemon and it was always fun to watch their adventures. That hasn't really changed. Plus, I do like seeing how the anime adapts elements/the storyline from the games too.

    Second of all, I do understand why people have lost interest. That wasn't a problem. This certainly isn't the first time I've seen people complain about the anime like this. It was extremely common for people to say that they lost interest in the show during or after Johto for a number of years. Even now, some people will stop watching the anime for awhile and then jump back in when something catches their attention. I just don't see the need to complain about the anime so much when these issues shouldn't be a new development. Unless you're just starting to reach the age where you're outside of the target audience, which would probably be a young teenager, after watching through your first Pokemon, then the show being stuck in a loop and existing primarily to promote the newest games shouldn't be a surprise by this point. And expecting a show aimed at children to match with your tastes simply because you're older still seems a bit much to me.
     
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  5. Vegard Aune

    Vegard Aune Member

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    I've personally lost interest and later regained it for this series several times. At this point I've long since accepted that, yeah, the story as a whole is just gonna keep soft-rebooting itself every few years and Satoshi is never going to actually accomplish his goal (except perhaps in the new movie, but that's technically a different Satoshi from the one we're watching in the show)... But I don't see any real problem with that. That's just how the show is. And while the story might be stuck in a perpetual loop, there's clearly genuine effort being put into the series. The action in X and Y was genuinely impressive, and Sun & Moon has been fantastic as a light-hearted adventure comedy with some really creative animation to it... and also episode 21. I was incredibly impressed with episode 21.

    Oh and the openings were brought up... I would just like to point out that the past several Japanese openings have been excellent. Oh sure, the short-lived 20th anniversary cover of Mezase Pokémon Master was kinda meh and accompanied by an extremely lazy opening sequence, but XY&Z and Alola!! are both really great songs, and have been used to great effect in the show itself too. (I still say that the semi-finals of the Kalos League fell flat in the dub, purely because it didn't have XY&Z playing over the end of the fight.)
     
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  6. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    The difference is the anime is not intended to be watched the whole way through by the same people, the writers obviously know people who watched Kanto 20 years ago aren't all still going to be watching now. Only really the biggest pokemon anime fans stuck through every series.

    However you can probably whittle each saga down to about 80ish episodes, only watching the very best or most important eps of each saga, and do a quick run of the show that way. Of course you'd have to know beforehand which eps to watch, and what eps people like differs from person to person, but it's a good way to speed-run through the show if you don't want to watch every filler,etc.
     
  7. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    That is true. There are people who think that the anime is one lone continuing storyline because of always focusing on Ash and Pikachu, but it really isn't. You don't have to know about Ash's first journey through Kanto in order to follow along with the current SM series. Each series is pretty much stand-alone, which is probably one reason why the anime is still successful after all these years. The writers know that they'll get a new audience every few years, so they make it easier for kids to jump into each series with giving Ash a fresh start, a new team and a new group of friends to travel with.

    I don't think that you could trim down every series or journey down that much. I could see that working for something like that working for the first couple of series, especially when both the original series and AG consisted of multiple journeys, but I can't see DP or XY being trimmed down to less than a hundred episodes. There are filler episodes in every series of course, but I don't think that much, especially for those two series. I think by the end of its run, DP had the least amount of filler episodes compared to the previous two series. There are still filler episodes in it of course, but I don't think that you could cut its nearly two hundred episodes in half. I don't think that XY had that much filler in it either. I'm not sure if it would apply for BW either, but I haven't seen it in ages, so I don't recall how many important episodes there were during its run compared to the filler episodes. Still, people can speed through the series by just watching the more important episodes, even though that usually is more effective when the series has already ended.
     
  8. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    It's actually easier to trim down the sagas outside of AG/DP because none of the other female companions have huge quests that take up as many episodes as the Contests did. Because there's also all the episodes outside the Contests where May/Dawn either captures/evolved/trained a pokemon, or one of their rivals appeared, etc.

    Since the other girls don't have huge journies, of course there's going to be more filler. Even Serena's showcases combined take up less than 12 episodes because they were so short and they were 1 ep each till the finale.

    If we look back at Johto, the only essential Misty eps are the ones she captured Corsola, Poliwag evolving twice, or battled Ash for Totodile, the Whirl Cup, and maybe the Sakura eps. Aside from that since she did not much else, there's so much to cut out then because she had no ongoing goal otherwise so Johto just had more filler.

    Meanwhile in AG May competed in 15 Contests and two Grand Festivals, a lot of these eps were 2-parters, and then there was all the build up eps leading toward them. Then there's the fact that she had 7 pokemon, so the eps she captured/evolved 7 pokemon were essential. Same for Dawn. Now all the new girls have small teams of 3-4 pokemon or less....

    Since the roles for female companions were reduced again after Dawn, there's a lot less essential episodes by default in each saga. Even the male companions like Brock, Cilan, Clemont don't really get that many episodes a saga either, so that doesn't add much.
     
  9. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    The lack of a side goal like Contests does mean that there's less key episodes. I still miss Contests and Showcases were watered down Contests, so it's no surprise that most of them lasted only one episode. That does mean that there's more filler compared to series like AG and DP, but I don't think that necessarily means that there's a lot more filler in series like XY or even SM from what I've seen of it thus far just because there isn't something like Contests. It's certainly not more to where over half of XY could be considered skippable. I don't think there have even been that many filler episodes in SM up to this point, at least going by the dub. There are filler episodes people can easily skip through in each series, but I didn't agree with the 80 episode estimation. That definitely wouldn't work for DP since there were more than 80 key episodes for that series and I'm not sure if that estimation would work for XY either, even though I forgot that XY does have a smaller amount of episodes compared to DP. I still don't think that less than a hundred episodes are important to follow the storyline in XY, but that is a factor that I didn't consider beforehand.
     
  10. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Well-Known Member

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    I actually hope these guys evolve. This season has kicked Mascotitis into overdrive, with almost EVERY character toting their Pokémon in their arms, even ones that honestly look uncomfortable to hold, like Mallow when she holds Steenee. It looks like she’s holding a bag of groceries about to spill out from the bottom. As we’ve seen with Piplup and Axew, this series adores Pokémon that are cute and carry-size, so it’s safe to assume that a good chunk of these Pokémon are going to stay pet-sized.

    But the looser, more expressive animation is helping keep evolved Pokémon in the mix. If this were an earlier season, the minute Rockruff evolved, its personality would vanish and it would be in its pokeball for the majority of the time. But instead, it has a cat vs dog feud with Litten, it gets mad when its fur gets dirty and is quite affectionate towards Ash. It’s just as expressive as it was when it was a wild Rockruff living with Kukui.

    As much as I hate this season’s cast’s obsession with not letting their Pokémon use their stinkin’ legs for once, I feel like it’s a good think for the bigger, less cute, evolved Pokémon because the animators can have fun with them outside of battle. Imagine Dartrix having a feud with Lycanroc over who’s hair looks better, or now being distracted by mirrors to fix its plumage. Maybe Incineroar becomes a show off and puts on a tough guy act, but still goes limp when Delia scratches that spot under its chin, a kitty cat at heart.

    And we certainly can’t forget that Ash’s team still has room to grow. We’re entitled to our opinions, but I personally hope that they let SOME of these pokepets to evolve.


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  11. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Well since none of the main cast battle this season besides Kiawe and maybe Lana there's not much incentive for pokes to evolve. There's no ongoing goals this season and the main cast doesn't battle much outside of showing off Z- moves. I do hope Ash's starters evolve though.

    This is the third series in a row where the female companions don't do much battling. Had it not been for the Don battle tournaments in BW, Iris would have barely battled either. Oh well, I guess the days of the female leads battling in the anime is over. No idea why they stopped doing it when it worked so well.
     
  12. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Even with the Don Battle tournaments, I don't think Iris had that many noteworthy battles either. It's been awhile since I watched BW, but despite having a goal that would benefit from battling, she really didn't do a lot. That was kind of part of the problem. The show kept telling the audience how she was such a gifted and special Dragon Pokemon trainer, but none of her actions on screen really backed that up. Most of her accomplishments were handed to her on a silver plate rather than the result of her winning hard fought battles or doing training. It would have been nice if she did have more battles to make the claims the show had about her skills more believable, but the writing for battles in general during BW weren't too good either.

    While the past few series haven't given the female leads a more battle active goal, I think it's a bit much to act like they're never going to do something akin to Contests again. You made similar claims about how Misty would never show up in the anime due to how long ago she was replaced and how both she and Brock weren't in the anniversary movie. I'm just saying whether or not a female lead is more battle active is a detail that can easily change for various reasons, so I don't think it makes much sense to act like they'll never do it again.

    As to why they stopped giving the female leads more battle active goals, I think it's mainly because the games didn't feature a side quest like Contests for them to adapt into the show. B/W were as close to a soft-reboot of the games as we may get considering that older Pokemon weren't available until the post-storyline and there weren't any sidequests aside from the Gyms. They wanted to have the anime follow a similar route with Ash, Pikachu and Team Rocket being the only returning characters and not featuring other older Pokemon. Neither X/Y or Sun/Moon offered side quests either, so their options for what to do with female leads is a bit more limiting. They created Showcases for Serena's goal, but I don't think that those were particularly good. I like Serena and her development, but Showcases as a goal was a bad idea and really just made me wish that they brought back Contests instead. If any future games include some side goal that could be adapted into the anime, that might make it more likely to have more battle active female leads again.

    Female characters don't have to be battle active in order to be good. Like I said, I liked Serena pretty much fine and she didn't really battle that much at all in XY. It would be ideal to have more female trainers battling in general, but it isn't a necessity either.
     
  13. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    It's actually kind of funny how much people seemed to warm up to the SM saga online now. When the saga first started people had such backlash to it, both the animation and the way the episode/saga was being structured. While I still don't care for Ash's new face/design, it seems everyone is content with it.

    When SM first started I thought it was going to be another Johto or BW, a saga that would get a very mixed reception and to be honest it still is. But so far especially lately in Japan now that they're covering the Aether/Lusamine/Lillie plot its improved. Granted it could go back to filler hell after the current arc ends, but who knows.
     
  14. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I think that the light hearted tone was more appealing to people than it was initially expected. It doesn't have the same kind of popularity that XY had, but I don't think it's anywhere near as divisive among online fans as BW was. Even Johto doesn't seem to have that much of a mixed reception for fans, or at least I don't see it brought up nearly as much anymore due to the passage of time and BW.

    I don't think that there has been that much filler episodes in the series prior to the whole Aether Foundation plot. There obviously were filler episodes, but not really a significantly larger amount of them. Even the gaps between the Trials didn't mean that every episode was filler, so I don't know where the whole filler hell term comes from in relation to SM.
     
  15. Vegard Aune

    Vegard Aune Member

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    Yeah honestly, looking back at the show up till this point, there are extremely few episodes I would call 100% filler. Oh sure, there are plenty of episodes where the group just go on random incidental adventures, but most of them at least revealed something new about one of our main characters or furthered the overall plot in some way or another.
     
  16. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Well-Known Member

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    I admit, I find myself watching the new episodes. SM is no XY or really anything like the more recent Pokémon seasons. It’s probably more akin to the OG anime where the characters had more vivid personalities.

    The pacing though, sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow. We’re at the final Aether battle, yet these characters haven’t even visited the other metropolises like HeaHea City, but at the same time, they meet Tapu Fini and Tapu Bulu. I’m almost wondering if Ash’s classmates aren’t trial captains because the rest of Alola hasn’t continentally-drifted into place yet lol

    It’s a very unpredictable season, without a doubt. I suppose after the Aether arc, they’ll get into the Ultra SM material..


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  17. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    The pacing is definitely a problem for me as well. They take their sweet time for Ash to get to Akala Island, but then they brush through his next Trial and Grand Trial within a handful of episodes. Not to mention they skip all but one Trial before Ash could get the Grand Trial under way. I haven't seen the Aether Foundation episodes yet, but it seems to have a similar problem in that they're rushing to get it over with despite the fact that Ash hasn't gotten to the third island yet. In that case, they probably wanted to get to whatever new content US/UM has for the show, but it is still a problem to rush through the climax of the games' storyline like this.

    The way the show treat the Island Challenge in itself is a big problem too. That's a core aspect of the setting for the games and it's basically the Alola version of Gyms. Ash just does the Trials whenever he suddenly has the motivation for it or he wakes up wanting a new Z-Crystal. It's extremely weird not only because of Ash's lack of eagerness to complete his Trials, but the Island Challenge is treated much more like an afterthought in the show. It would be like if Ash wasn't focused on getting to the next town to get his next Gym badge and no one brought up Gyms or the Leagues for twenty episodes. The show is still enjoyable and I don't think that this issue bothers me as much as it does with other fans, but it is still an issue for me.
     
  18. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Well-Known Member

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    I think that problem comes from the fact that Ash’s regular trials are things he’s been stumbling into and he’s not even actually completing some of them. Case in point, Lana completing the trial against Wishiwashi and getting the Waterium Z.

    I speculate that since Ash never catches more than around 7 Pokémon per region, there’s no reason for him to be collecting all of the Z crystals. But the lack of focus maybe because of the huge amount of characters this show comes in with that forces audiences to deal with Kiawe chewing the scenery and gushing about his sister alongside Ash’s Island challenge and Lillie overcoming her fear of touching pokemon.


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  19. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    SM might only be a 2 year gen if Gen 8 comes by Nov 2018 on Switch, so I can see why the writers are suddenly rushing. But either way this saga is much different than any past saga. There's a huge main human cast, Ash's goal has taken a backseat, there might not be any league at the end, etc. So I guess it doesn't really matter, the whole saga feels like an experiment at something new.

    I prefer short sagas in general, prevents less chance of characters getting stale or fading into the background especially since no characters have any real goal to follow. What happened with Misty in Johto or Brock's gradual decline in AG/DP, it's never really happened to any character again afterward. XY showed they have trouble balancing a cast in 4 (and back in AG they could get away with ignoring Brock since he was an old character), but the SM cast is 7 characters if you count Gladion and the teacher, etc.

    Another thing that disappoints me is the lack of battles, the main girls haven't really battled since uh...Dawn? We're now 3 gens later, and aside from Iris getting some focus in the Don battle tournaments, we've never had a battle centric goal for the main girl since. And this is since 2010...nearly 8 years and 3 gens ago. It's gotten to the point where it seems like people have forgotten what it was like when the main girls got a lot of screentime.
     
  20. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Stumbling into the Trials is definitely a problem. It makes it feel less like a goal and more like Ash just does whenever he feels like it. Lana getting the Waterium Z Crystal after her Trial was kind of a mix bag. It was when Lana started to get a bit more focus and seemed a bit more interesting to me than she had before, but it really made me wonder how they're handling Ash's Island Challenge. They didn't even have the Fire type Trial for Ash, most likely because Kiawe already owns the Firium Z Crystal.

    It is possible that they're only going to give Ash's Z-Crystals that he can actually use, which does make sense. That's why Ash got the Electrium Z-Crystal after his first Grand Trial instead of the Fightium Z-Crystal. Still, I just wish that they handled the Trials in a better fashion. They seem to skip over the aspects that made the Trials more interesting and difficult in the games, such as one vs two Pokemon, and prefer the more traditional battle match ups for the Grand Trials since they're more like traditional Gym battles.

    While they do have a much larger cast this time around, I don't think that is why the Island Challenge has such little focus. Ash rarely brings up doing Trials unless he feels like getting a new Z-Crystal and the show itself rushes through the Trials as if they're an afterthought if the Akala arc is any indication. I don't think I'd blame that for the amount of main characters on the cast, especially when Ash, Lillie and to a lesser extent Kiawe and Lana are the only ones getting a consistent amount of focus/screentime. Lillie is the only character thus far to actually have development and I think that Kiawe has the best focus episodes thus far. The episodes where we learn about his family and where he caught Marowak were especially good.

    I think that the main issue with the lack of focus is that they just want SM to be full of Ash's light hearted adventures in Alola with his new friends. I do like most of the episodes and the light hearted tone does make the series more entertaining, but it comes at the expense of Ash's goal. I have no idea what he wants to do in the Alola journey besides having fun with his friends. It's just weird to see Ash without his usual motivation to get the next Gym badge, or in this case Z-Crystal.

    The thought of SM being only two years has come to mind, but I'm not sure if that would justify the pacing problems. If anything, that would kind of make it worse considering that they have a more limited time than with the other series and still took their sweet time to cover key aspects of the games' storyline in the show.

    That being said, I don't know how likely it is for the next generation to come out on the Switch next year. It is entirely possible. While the Switch is already successful, a main series Pokemon title would make Nintendo even more money, so they'd want that out as soon as possible. Plus, I'm not sure if the new content from US/UM would give SM another year's worth of content to adapt. I'm still in the early stages of the games and I keep hearing mixed comments about how much new content is in them to begin with, so I can't really say how much of US/UM they could incorporate into the series. It does remind me a bit of when there were speculations over new Pokemon games before Sun/Moon were confirmed. Even if we did get the Z version a lot of fans wanted, I didn't think that XY could last another year because of the pacing it was going during that time of speculation. I think Serena was close to getting her last Princess Key and Ash had six or seven badges at the time, so I didn't think that they could increase the Kalos journey for another year and I didn't like the idea of a Battle Frontier like arc simply because I don't think that the Kanto Battle Frontier holds up nearly that well. It was far too rushed for my tastes.

    Even so, I'm also still not sure if they'll make SM and by extension the seventh generation last for only two years. That seems awfully short, especially when most generations last for at least three years. Nintendo may want to have a new generation on the Switch as soon as possible, but that doesn't mean that Game Freak would be ready for it next year. They may still need time to develop it, which is why we haven't gotten an official release date. They've just been vague about it with saying that the new games are in development or that they'll be out 2018 or later. It still wouldn't be impossible for SM to be a shorter series, but I'm leading more towards the game not coming out for another year just so that they can have more time to develop it and more time to promote the seventh generation Pokemon.

    That is rather disappointing, but like I said before, the games don't really offer anything like Contests that the writers could use for the female trainers to compete in. Even Showcases were just a poor man's watered down version of Contests.

    While I do like seeing female characters being more battle active as much as the next person, I don't think female characters have to be battle active. I have my fair share of problems with Serena and especially Showcases, but Serena not being battle active wasn't one of them. She simply wasn't interested in having more traditional battles, which was fine. Not every character has to be a great or active battler in the series. Iris probably battled more often than Serena did, but Serena was a far better character in my opinion. She had good believable character development throughout the series, while Iris had everything handed to her and the audience were told that she was a special awesome trainer instead of actually showing it. I'd rather have another character like Serena who doesn't battle much but is likable with good development than another character like Iris who is a bit more battle active but is far more unlikable and poorly written.
     

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