Loved A.J. man, his training seemed brutal but then you also saw the love and care he showed his Pokemon (their won personal Pokemon food, etc) you warmed to him. His Sandshrew was bad ***, wonder how strong it'd be now, years on. Good episode to highlight Ash's development as a character as well. The writers nailed the childish, arrogant and cocky side of his character which would've built up after his early success.
A.J., like Samurai and Giselle, was a character I really hoped to see again.
Having traveled through the Kanto (x2), Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos regions, plus the Orange & Decolore Islands, competing in six regional Pokémon League competitions, winning the Orange League, defeating the Kanto Battle Frontier, seeing/ meeting each of the rare and powerful Legendary/ Mythical Pokémon, some on numerous occasions, and continually fighting vigilantly against six villainous teams, Ash has apparently now decided to go to school.