I don't think I have ever seen a series as polarizing as Sinnoh when it comes to Pokémon. During my time on internet forums and viewing YouTube videos, it seems like there are either the people who love Sinnoh and think it was the absolute highlight of Pokémon and that nothing can or ever will top it and then there are the people who absolutely hate it and say it was the worst season of Pokémon to date. Where do I stand? I really liked it despite its flaws. Okay, let's talk about the good stuff. The battles in this series were probably some of the best battles Pokémon has ever had. They had strategy, they were often intense and they were really fun to watch. I also loved the contest appeals contest battles which I also felt were very well done. The animation was well done for the most part (although, I have to say that it's not necessarily my favorite animation because I do love where Best Wishes is going with its animation). The music is well done adding nice new tracks and keeping some old fan favorites. Dawn herself is a great character I feel and I know people hate her but I will try and defend her. People try and say that Dawn had absolutely no change as a character from start to finish and while I could see their point, I don't think it should be a strike against her. Dawn is still a ten year old girl and expecting her to have this major development in which she becomes a woman and a completely different person is sort of silly especially at Dawn's age. Dawn did have a great contest arcs and she had many human emotions throughout the show that made you able to relate to her. Dawn was a success in my opinion. I thought she had a fun personality and her girly side was also very appealing to watch. Paul was also a great rival and I know he too is hated. The reason I like Paul is because I felt he was a great antagonistic force in this series. He was the exact opposite of Ash in many ways and some of his methods were rather dark for Pokémon at times. I also thought the Chimchar story arc was done well. Ash and Paul gave us engaging battles and the conclusion to their rivalry was well done. I know people say Paul changed out of no where but I still feel Paul learning that Ash beat Brandon while Paul couldn't beat Brandon with his methods and then Paul losing to Ash in the Sinnoh League helped Paul to reconsider his methods. Hunter J and Team Galactic while horribly underused and underdeveloped were still very entertaining and most of their appearances were enjoyable. Ash was at his best as a trainer here and all of his Poemon had unique personalities and were well developed. Brock got some nice focus as well.
What were the low points? The handling of some of the rivals. While I like Paul and Zoey, I still feel like a lot of other rivals got screwed over. Let's start with Conway. Conway is an entertaining character but I think he would have worked better as Dawn's rival. I think it would have been such a great move to put him as a coordinator especially with his crush on Dawn and the fact that prior to the League, he was more connected to Dawn than he was with Ash. Conway was fodder at the League and only appeared in the Summer School Arc and the Tag Team Arc prior to the League. Would have liked to see him more and have him have more interactions with Ash. Barry was introduced around 100 episodes into the show and I just didn't think he was a great rival. Most of the time he came across as a Paul fanboy and at some points, he was a jerk. He also got screwed over in the League and I guess I don't think he is as humorous as other people do. Ursula was great as a mean girl rival and I wish she got more wins but otherwise she was a good rival for Dawn. Nando was interesting but disappeared for a long time. Tobias worked well as a mysterious League rival. Kenny worked well as Dawn's childhood rival but he was screwed over in the Grand Festival. I guess I should mention Jessie. She was just so nasty to poor Dawn most of the time. TRio were at their absolute worst here and like I mentioned before, the other villains were underused.