In terms of Pokemon and team structure, Ash getting starters has always been an important issue for me. The starters are usually my favourite Pokemon. But there are two characters in Ash's team that are my least favourite ever.
Obviously the original series is my favourite and a big part of that was the Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle factor. Bulbasaur and Squirtle, on their own, are two great characters and Pokemon, and the relationship and interactions between them just strengthen that. Bulbasaur was stubborn but powerful and fiercely loyal, whilst Squirtle was hilarious. On the other hand, Charmander broke free from them and became Charizard, arguably one of Ash's more popular Pokemon, and one we saw so much development from. I can safely see I'm a huge fan of all three of them.
Moving over to the Johto region, we saw Ash get Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile. Now, admittedly I don't think Ash's Johto team is anywhere near his best, but it did have potential. Chikorita's "love" for Ash and potential for a rivalry with Pikachu could've been awesome. Cyndaquil started off as weak and lazy, often asleep and took a while to "warm up" and get its flame on, but had clear potential to improve and become a big hitter. Totodile, on the other hand, I always found hilarious, and I found its enthusiasm and effervescence quite infectious. Problem was we didn't see all that much development. Chikorita became Bayleef, but that was it and we never saw much else of it. I don't think there is much difference between Bayleef and Meganium, so it might as well have become one and I feel if it had it would've become one of Ash's memorable powerful Pokemon. Despite its potential for improvement, Cyndaquil didn't really, and we didn't see it evolve until the Lily of the Valley Conference, which to be honest was pointless in my opinion. If Cyndaquil was going to be anything, if should've become Quilava/ Typhlosion during the Johto series. Now nothing has really changed with Totodile, which is disappointing as it had fan-favourite potential, though I don't think it would've suited becoming a Feraligatr.
Now we move over to the Hoenn series, where I will discuss the only two Pokemon of Ash's I genuinely loathe, Corphish and Torkoal. Firstly though, I'd just like to say I've never understood the AG Series and Gen III love, I find them very overrated. Anyway, Ash gets a Treecko which eventually becomes a Sceptile. The whole time it was in Ash's team, I thought it was a good, solid character who had some interesting development. Meanwhile, May gets a Torchic which eventually becomes a Blaziken, and Brock gets a Mudkip which eventually becomes a Marshtomp. I can't fault May's Torchic > Blaziken, but I think Brock's Mudkip > Marshtomp is possibly the biggest waste of a Pokemon ever. Completely unmemorable and pointless. So because May and Brock have Torchic and Mudkip, Ash gets Torkoal and Corphish as his Fire/ Water types. Someone on serebii once said that Corphish is possibly the funniest Pokemon Ash has ever had. Well I certainly don't see it. I found Corphish boring, unmemorable and totally unfunny and the same can be said for Torkoal, who's crybaby antics I just found annoying. I'm informed that apparently Ash having a Dark-type at this point in time was a complete no go, and maybe Corphish becoming Crawdaunt would've saved it, who knows? But anyway, I can safely say I've never disliked Pokemon of Ash's as much as those two and it nearly put me off Ash getting non-starter Grass, Fire and Water types.
Onto the Sinnoh region, which I feel was one of the better series after the first one, and Ash gets Turtwig, as many would've predicted. It becomes Torterra and is "ok", but I wouldn't say it is Ash's best or most memorable by a long stretch. Then he gets Paul's Chimchar, which eventually becomes Infernape and is one of Ash's more memorable Pokemon, having a great story but perhaps the Blaze thing was a tad overused. When I saw Dawn got Piplup I genuinely worried as to what would happen with Ash, would he get another Corphish? However, he ends up getting a Buizel who I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed and it definitely undid a lot of the damage that Corphish did. I can safely say I look back at Ash's Sinnoh team as a good one, though I think more could've been done with Gible.
Ash's Unova region, for me, had a load of potential. He got Oshawott, Tepig and Snivy, which made me happy, but he also got a Sewaddle and a Palpitoad, as well as a Scraggy and Roggenrola. I genuinely thought this team was going to be great, and fully expected Ash to finish up with a Dewott (because it is so awesome, Buizel-ish), Emboar, Serperior, Leavanny, Seismitoad, Scrafty and Gigalith (in some sort of Trade with Trip storyline), but he didn't. I didn't think Leavanny and Palpitoad were particularly well done or memorable. Boldore was ok but nothing special. Being an Egg Pokemon I can handle Scraggy not evolving, maybe something which can happen in the future? As stated at the beginning, starters are always a big thing for me. I liked Tepig and Snivy's back stories, but I don't really think the Pokemon have developed as well as they could've. Oshawott reminded me a bit of Cyndaquil in terms of its space for improvement, learning how to use Aquajet, etc, but overall the Unova team was a disappointing one for me.
Onto Kalos, early days yet but I like the look of Ash's Froakie, and I don't like Fennekin as a Pokemon so I'm glad he isn't getting it. Will be interested to see what happens with the rest of his team.
I welcome any comments/ discussion if you think I am wrong about Ash's Corphish and Ash's Torkoal.
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.