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Thread: Your Ideal Team Rocket

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    Default Ideal Version of Team Rocket

    Since we have an Ash thread, I thought we may as well have one for our other mainstream (and equally polarising) characters in the anime (being I am equally obsessed with characterisation as U.N. Owen).

    If you had the chance to write for the anime, what would you ideal version of Jessie, James and Meowth be like?

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    BW Team Rocket





    #1 rival in the pokemon anime

    #1 battler in the pokemon anime

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    I would like a TR who is at least semi competent. No more ridiculous blasting off or getting inserted into episodes for no reason. Some damn development and actual pokemon battles would be nice too.

    No one needs them to be completely serious but they should at least pose a threat.
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    I'd have personally written them out by now, but if I had to include them, then probably OS Rocket, showing up often enough so that they're a threat but not too often that it's a gag.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rkhachatryan View Post
    I would like a TR who is at least semi competent. No more ridiculous blasting off or getting inserted into episodes for no reason. Some damn development and actual pokemon battles would be nice too.

    No one needs them to be completely serious but they should at least pose a threat.
    I think they just need to be effective in a manner that they help develop the heroes. Contrary to what the writers seem to sometimes think, the heroes don't continue to look impressive just curb stomping them the exact same way every single episode, especially when they're on a level that a five year old could do the same. At the same time having Team Rocket so challenging that the twerps keep needing some intervention to stop them doesn't work either. Too often they either beat Team Rocket with zero strategy and effort or need dumb luck or an even bigger fish to save them, there isn't enough middle ground where they are being challenged, thus the TRio did not remotely help them develop as battlers, making them feel completely superfluous. I just want more episodes where the TRio offer enough of a fight that Ash's team have to be smart or adapt to a new skill (as in not miraculously gain it) to stop them, making them look competent from defeating them. A key aspect of their persona is that they are bumblers, but bumblers isn't always the same as 'being defeated really easily'.

    They need to be on a level that the twerps defeat them but look impressive and resilient about it. Have some epic fails when it's funny or befits the story, sure, but make them more than a pointless joke or a short cut whenever the heroes aren't strong enough characters to hold an episode. And if they are truly meaningless to the episode, just keep them out of it. Fans will last with them absent the odd time in 140 so episodes.

    They also need more of a chemistry with the twerps. Meowth and Pikachu tend to be the only characters that bounce off each other from both sides, and even then only when they're alone. Reverting back to the more tongue in cheek banter from the OS would be helpful, Ash is comical again now, it seems an ideal time to set this up again. I want to see more between them than just 'TR gloat, twerps curse righteously'.

    Keep to them learning new niches and becoming more and more competent whenever they try legitimate acts, that's always a fun little bit of side development that helps make them feel dynamic from other bumbling villains. Having them the rival to one of the protagonists in their goal works well (Jessie is an entertaining performer/co ordinator rival for the female companions, especially in cases she is allowed to be a worthy opponent, I'd love it if James found some way to rival the male companions though).

    Concerning battling, keep them semi competent. While they should be more fearsome at the start of the series, don't decay them completely by the end of it. Have them level grind at least slightly so their team aren't just reduced to jobbers and have them do more than spam the same attacks over and over. I'd also like to see more times Meowth and Wobbuffet take part, maybe not the primary battlers, but semi recurrently getting in the odd cheap shot or distraction so the main battlers can get the upper hand. They look pointless just standing there dormant all the time.
    Last edited by DatsRight; 4th December 2016 at 9:25 AM.

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    no Team Rocket is the best Team Rocket
    I'd have them do missions like in BW while keeping their personalities.
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    I would probably just get rid of them at this point. Early BW proved that filler episodes are possible without silly TR ruining everyone's day.

    If we can't get rid of them, then I guess make them like early BW. Or at least mid BW, where they were still semi-competent and retreated instead of forcing an attack, only to get blasted off again.

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    Early BW/XY competence with OS comedy. (speaking of English dub)

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    My ideal Team Rocket would be one that had been written off the show years ago, because at this point, they are getting stale.

    However, since we are stuck with the TRio, then they need to show some competence and actually pose a legitimate threat to Ash and his friends - not because our heroes forget they have multiple Pokémon, but because Team Rocket are threatening enough that Ash and his friends need to use multiple Pokémon and be creative and strategic to defeat them.

    They need to stop ruining getting shoehorned into every single episode. They need to stop stalking Ash and trying to kidnap Pikachu, and stick to their other, more successful schemes. The TRio are more interesting (and far less annoying) when they are doing things other than trying to kidnap Ash's best friend.

    (In fact, at this point, they just need to give up on Pikachu and stick to schemes where Ash and his friends are less likely to interfere. You would think they would have realized by now that they actually have some degree of success when they leave Ash alone. >_> )

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    lol i might be the minority but i actually like having team rocket around since they're one of the last pieces of continuity left in the show and i just like them in general. as for their personalities, i'd like it if they had some of their bw competence while having their comical personalities from os at the same time.

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    SM's is looking like ideal to me, so far.

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    A Team Rocket that has been dropped from the cast so that new teams can get the spotlight.
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    I want TR to have their own goals again and not be complete punching bags like they were for the past saga (XY). I loved it when they had jobs in AG and were scrapping the cracks of a barrel looking for money. I loved it when they had their own lives and aspirations from Jessie (and Meowth helping her) participating in Contests to Meowth being content making ramen at a shop to James' family drama and his misery of having to sell his bottle cap collection for food money. I absolutely hated it in DP where they showed up every episode just to kidnap Pikachu through some cookie cutter plan that even a 3 year old could've thought up. I love it when their personalities sometimes dictate what they do like how James can show mercy and let his feelings get to him thus releasing a Pokémon they captured, Jessie putting the spotlight above her role of stealing Pokémon, Meowth taking advantage of the goodness of strangers without guilt.

    TR need to have goals and priorities other than stealing Pikachu/other Pokémon. They were really relateable when their own problems were showcased. It made you sympathize with them and reminded you that the TRio are too, just normal human beings who got mixed up in the wrong crowd. They should be at least be competent. I blame their losses mostly because they don't train their Pokemon much, their Pokémon aren't that strong to begin with, and they suffer from 'deer in the headlights' mode. When they do use their own strategies and think outside the box, they're marvelous even though there will always be a fluke in the plan. Their focus episodes are always one of the best but if their only motive is to capture Pikachu and nothing else, they'll become very stale like they was in XY(&Z) aside from the Team Flare arc.

    Having goofy personalities doesn't equal to them being complete punching bags with no purpose other than to capture a little boy's Pikachu. They're an evil organization for pete's sake! They can do other things under the radar which I'm sure Pierce and many other members of Team Rocket would do off screen. And please, bring back TR's boss fantasies! I love the TRio as characters, I wouldn't want them written off the show (even though it should've been done years ago but that's not the point). They're one of the most interesting characters we have, they have so much potential to be different from themselves in the past like be rivals with the Team Skull Grunts who in return, are just as goofy as they are.
    Last edited by satoharupika; 4th December 2016 at 8:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystic9899 View Post
    lol i might be the minority but i actually like having team rocket around since they're one of the last pieces of continuity left in the show and i just like them in general. as for their personalities, i'd like it if they had some of their bw competence while having their comical personalities from os at the same time.
    Why hang onto such lingering burden when they doesn't do its function of continuity anymore?

    Sorry if I sound a bit blunt, but I don't see them as any evidence of continuity, because they are written in the same way as Ash Ketchum, characters introduced since the OS series, but doesn't mention anything happened on-screen in the past anymore.

    For me, the "ideal" TRio is either:
    1) They are put on bus and gone forever.
    2) They are not obsess with Ash's Pikachu at all, they do their job as a Team Rocket member, posting a treat to everyone.


    Just as a sidenote, previously I compared TRio with Dr.Eggman in Sonic the Hedgehog series, because they are both recurring villains but often used in comical sense. However Dr.Eggman is less of an offender, in fact I appreciate the way Dr.Eggman is portrayed in many Sonic games and animes. This is because Dr.Eggman is only doing his usual own stuffs (World Domination) normally, but just because Sonic interrupts every time, he then grew to despise the existence of Sonic. Still, he wasn't obsess with Sonic (he seems more like holding a rivalry feeling with it), he wasn't chasing after Sonic, he also wasn't deliberately trying to go after any of Sonic's friends. It was just that every schemes of Dr.Eggman was so large-scaled it is impossible to hide it underwater, well in fact he doesn't even try to hide his plan at all, rather publicize it as much as possible. In that case, how you can not catch the attention of Sonic and its friends who are all whimsically heroic in the heart?
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    Quote Originally Posted by satoharupika View Post
    I absolutely hated it in DP where they showed up every episode just to kidnap Pikachu through some cookie cutter plan that even a 3 year old could've thought up. [...] TR need to have goals and priorities other than stealing Pikachu/other Pokémon.
    Exactly! The fact that the TRio seems to exist at this point solely to attempt to steal Pikachu is one of the reasons I feel they have grown stale. I don't mind them trying to steal Pokémon in general, since that is what the Team Rocket organization does, but the TRio need to give up on pursuing Ash and Pikachu and focus on stealing or capturing other Pokémon. You would think by now, they would have realized they are more successful when they focus on schemes other than trying to steal Poké-Zeus.

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    Ideal Team Rocket? Well for me, they have to be villainous, comedic, threatening and losers who acts as a foil to Ash and his friends. Going to old ideas from Takeshi Shudo (their creator), there seems to be an implication between the number of people who failed as Pokémon Trainers and Team Rocket. And with the backstory of Team Skull being a gang composed of people who failed their trials and lash out against society, I like to think of the Team Rocket trio as societal misfits who joined the Rocket organization not simply get rich quick, but as a means to get back at the world that mistreated them prior.

    As a result, they are dangerous overall. Though they get blasted off by the twerps every time, a direct encounter is often serious business for Ash. Their decay should be an indication of Ash getting stronger as both a trainer and a moral character. As well as Team Rocket questioning themselves if the Rocket organization was just as bad as living as societal rejects (as Giovanni would grow tire of their incompetence).

    And they should not be the only villains that Ash has to face at the beginning of Kanto. Just as Goku went from Pilaf and his gang to the Red Ribbon Army and finally King Piccolo, Ash should face greater threats that challenges him in ways that the Team Rocket trio could not provide. I'm of course referring to higher Rocket elites, Giovanni and Mewtwo.

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    I wouldn't have them in episodes where they didn't belong. A lot of the time they're pushing into episodes where there's already a more natural conflict. I don't want an interesting character of the day to have an interesting moral dilemma with another character or a tricky decision to make only to have it pushed aside for the generically evil Team Rocket stealing pokemon every week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
    Just as a sidenote, previously I compared TRio with Dr.Eggman in Sonic the Hedgehog series, because they are both recurring villains but often used in comical sense. However Dr.Eggman is less of an offender, in fact I appreciate the way Dr.Eggman is portrayed in many Sonic games and animes. This is because Dr.Eggman is only doing his usual own stuffs (World Domination) normally, but just because Sonic interrupts every time, he then grew to despise the existence of Sonic. Still, he wasn't obsess with Sonic (he seems more like holding a rivalry feeling with it), he wasn't chasing after Sonic, he also wasn't deliberately trying to go after any of Sonic's friends. It was just that every schemes of Dr.Eggman was so large-scaled it is impossible to hide it underwater, well in fact he doesn't even try to hide his plan at all, rather publicize it as much as possible. In that case, how you can not catch the attention of Sonic and its friends who are all whimsically heroic in the heart?
    The funny thing is Eggman in Sonic Boom, while very similar in other regards, is near the total opposite. He stalks Sonic and constantly forces a battle out of him just like Team Rocket do to Ash and the twerps. I think the difference there though is some sort of good chemistry is made out this setup. The two sides have played this duel for so long they're kind of jaded and tongue in cheek about it, and know each other's strengths and weaknesses off by heart. Not to mention Sonic, while a bit irritable with Eggman bugging him constantly, often lives to spar with Eggman. You feel something would be lost to his character without him around antagonising him.

    Team Rocket in all their years against Ash, don't really foil his character as much. Sure they have the odd mutual moment or times they feel bad for the other, but they are not nearly as much age old foes to Ash and Pikachu as the two are to them. Ash has his own quest and most of the time he just sees them as nuisances who keep getting in the way of it. If he blasted them off one time and they never came back for more, he likely wouldn't take much notice of it (that's the only way I can justify the twerps never seeing a trap or disguise coming, they're THAT forgettable to them, they rarely even talk about the TRio unless they're right in their face).

    I think this is also what makes so many of TR's plots feel so bland and repetitive. Eggman in Sonic Boom manipulates the heroes' key vices and flaws to often gain the upper hand, making him less predictable and more useful to developing on the heroes' characters. TR just uses their nets and disguises, and even when they are tricking the twerps, it's more just generic gullibility and idiot balls on the latter's part. I remember some early episodes being exempt to this (eg. convincing a desperate Ash to help them get into Vermillion Gym, or playing on Misty's fashion obsession to kidnap her) but after that their tricks became more formulaic and whenever they finally revealed themselves they had nothing prepared to stop the inevitable beating.
    Last edited by DatsRight; 5th December 2016 at 1:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
    Why hang onto such lingering burden when they doesn't do its function of continuity anymore?

    Sorry if I sound a bit blunt, but I don't see them as any evidence of continuity, because they are written in the same way as Ash Ketchum, characters introduced since the OS series, but doesn't mention anything happened on-screen in the past anymore.

    For me, the "ideal" TRio is either:
    1) They are put on bus and gone forever.
    2) They are not obsess with Ash's Pikachu at all, they do their job as a Team Rocket member, posting a treat to everyone.


    Just as a sidenote, previously I compared TRio with Dr.Eggman in Sonic the Hedgehog series, because they are both recurring villains but often used in comical sense. However Dr.Eggman is less of an offender, in fact I appreciate the way Dr.Eggman is portrayed in many Sonic games and animes. This is because Dr.Eggman is only doing his usual own stuffs (World Domination) normally, but just because Sonic interrupts every time, he then grew to despise the existence of Sonic. Still, he wasn't obsess with Sonic (he seems more like holding a rivalry feeling with it), he wasn't chasing after Sonic, he also wasn't deliberately trying to go after any of Sonic's friends. It was just that every schemes of Dr.Eggman was so large-scaled it is impossible to hide it underwater, well in fact he doesn't even try to hide his plan at all, rather publicize it as much as possible. In that case, how you can not catch the attention of Sonic and its friends who are all whimsically heroic in the heart?
    i didn't say huge continuity, but it's there. like how james referenced his bottle cap collection in xy and jessie continuing to do the pokegirl's goal in disguise. actually until bw they always referenced past series.

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    Not to mention a lot of their niches from previous series coming into use, such as their reporter jobs in AG/DP being pivotal during the league and TF face-off, or Meowth's culinary talent from DP coming to use in the showcases. That was actually a rather satisfying bit of development considering their slow downgrade as villains in XY, perhaps more so than Ash since they actually took what they had learned in past series and put it to good use. Something of what they had done all this time had meaning.
    Last edited by DatsRight; 5th December 2016 at 1:58 AM.

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    Non-existent...Seriously these morons have been stale since episode five...of OS.

    But since that will sadly never happen, BW Team Rocket (excluding the end of it for obvious reasons).
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    Quote Originally Posted by XY Rules View Post
    But since that will sadly never happen, BW Team Rocket (excluding the end of it for obvious reasons).
    In fairness even DA wasn't so bad for them. They at least weren't decayed and pointless as they usually were by the end of each series. They were still used a bit moderately, and a lot of their plans, while back to being buffoonish, were still allowed to be rather creative and partway challenging, compared to the two dozen or so interchangeable cubrstomps of XYZ. Hell it was the only series where they had a good final showdown with the region's companion squad rather than the standard ten second squash. The twerps were also still having odd funny moments with them as well ("IDIOTS?!?") rather than being all serious business by that point and having grown above them.

    'Team Rocket's Shocking Recruit' was a decent example of the TRio being used in a creative manner that helped moved the heroes' side plot forward rather than halting or pushing it aside for a generic scheme, not to mention their not so harmless barrage at the end ("Underestimate Team Rocket? Bad twerps...'). This was the fourth to last episode of BW to show they still had some steam left, compared to the other series where by that point they are totally outclassed and ignored by the twerps.
    Last edited by DatsRight; 5th December 2016 at 4:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DatsRight View Post
    Team Rocket in all their years against Ash, don't really foil his character as much. Sure they have the odd mutual moment or times they feel bad for the other, but they are not nearly as much age old foes to Ash and Pikachu as the two are to them. Ash has his own quest and most of the time he just sees them as nuisances who keep getting in the way of it. If he blasted them off one time and they never came back for more, he likely wouldn't take much notice of it (that's the only way I can justify the twerps never seeing a trap or disguise coming, they're THAT forgettable to them, they rarely even talk about the TRio unless they're right in their face).
    Well, I would say that That Dude in the Suede's review has brought an interesting interpretation of Team Rocket, that they are negative reflection of Ash and his friends. Where as both groups want to become successful, Ash has to work hard for his efforts in order to become successful while Team Rocket are willing to cheat to obtain what they want. While I don't necessarily agree with it (as there wasn't a proper episode where they examine each other), it highlights certain ideas from Takeshi Shudo with great potential. After all, this is the ideal Team Rocket thread here.

    Team Rocket are relatable and sympathetic, but their methods to solve their own problems are wrong and they are not heroes. They are characters who desperate want Giovanni's favors, but fail to realize that their boss doesn't care for them at all no matter what gifts they may try to bring. And whether they know it or not, they have more in common with Ash in the same vein as Guzma has with Professor Kukui.

    So ideally for me, Team Rocket fluctuates from dangerous to ineffectual throughout the course of the series until it becomes clear that they could no longer pose a threat to Ash once he's reached a certain level of experience. If and when that happens, then it's time for Team Rocket to consider turning a new leaf and stop being evil for good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadao View Post
    Well, I would say that That Dude in the Suede's review has brought an interesting interpretation of Team Rocket, that they are negative reflection of Ash and his friends. Where as both groups want to become successful, Ash has to work hard for his efforts in order to become successful while Team Rocket are willing to cheat to obtain what they want. While I don't necessarily agree with it (as there wasn't a proper episode where they examine each other), it highlights certain ideas from Takeshi Shudo with great potential. After all, this is the ideal Team Rocket thread here.

    Team Rocket are relatable and sympathetic, but their methods to solve their own problems are wrong and they are not heroes. They are characters who desperate want Giovanni's favors, but fail to realize that their boss doesn't care for them at all no matter what gifts they may try to bring. And whether they know it or not, they have more in common with Ash in the same vein as Guzma has with Professor Kukui.

    So ideally for me, Team Rocket fluctuates from dangerous to ineffectual throughout the course of the series until it becomes clear that they could no longer pose a threat to Ash once he's reached a certain level of experience. If and when that happens, then it's time for Team Rocket to consider turning a new leaf and stop being evil for good.
    I think the problem is that it's often skewed by the recurring plot amour Ash and his friends have, making them seem less hard working and more driven by good fortune and the story protecting them compared to TR or other rivals who often seem like their underdogs who work harder only to lose. There are times TR genuinely play fair and try to achieve things through hard work but still fail miserably while the twerps just waltz by with the same basic tricks. Serena for example never had to remotely level grind to outmatch Team Rocket, both in villainous face offs and legitimate ones (she was essentially the Bugs Bunny to Jessie's Daffy Duck in the showcases). Sure TR tend to fail at level grinding as well, but often the manner the twerps do so seems skewed anyway (eg. Pokemon miraculously evolving at the right moment rather than growing naturally through training).

    I think this is sometimes why fans also see TR as a tumour to the heroes' development as the writers sometimes persist in going 'Wile E Coyote' with them and making them the overbearing underdog to the twerps. The problem there is that while the Road Runner was a comedic foil who was never intended to be sympathetic focus, Ash and his friends are protagonists of an action series formula that you are meant to be enticed by. By making them always win effortlessly against their main opponent or have the plot bend over backwards so they do, they become less sympathetic characters (note 'sympathetic' isn't the same as 'morally justified', hence why a hero character can still be less sympathetic than a villain).

    I think the key is to try and make Team Rocket sympathetic but in a way that isn't too reverse proportionate to the twerps being so. I mean SOME episodes they are the underdog give a fun perspective, but constantly downgrading the twerps into invincible foils for them to work rather than giving the former proper development, and obviously fans are going to consider the TRio a detriment.
    Last edited by DatsRight; 5th December 2016 at 9:26 AM.

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    DP Team Rocket. Villans losers with sympathy.

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