Would "protagonist" extend to May and/or Dawn? Don't get me wrong, I like them both as characters but the fact that they start out as such noobs, I question why Norman and Johanna didn't have second thoughts about them being Trainers. Dawn even needed to be reminded to enlarge the Poke Ball when something like that should come natural even for a non-Trainer (assuming they have a pet Pokemon) for crying out loud. There's being a novice and then there's just being too dumb to live.
Sorry if I sound harsh but it's just a real head scratcher.
I think this thread is about Ash though. I prefer the girls (Misty, May, Dawn) development much better than how Ash got his. Ash's development is crap. Okay, it was good until the reset.
Or the 'reset'
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"Is our Protagonist too weak?" you ask. He's weak in the head meaning he acts stupid from time to time and repeats the same mistakes from lessons he learned back in season 1.
He is as strong as the plot requires.
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This issue is actually the main reason why I stopped watching the anime soon after Orange Islands. Even as a kid, Ash's sudden n00bish qualities, as well as Pikachu's apparent delevelling, struck me as a massive plot hole that made the show damn near unwatchable. The transition from Kanto to the Orange Islands was great, as it let Ash actually fight progressively stronger trainers, instead of having to get weaker himself.
Personally, I would have much preferred it if the anime was made as an adaptation of the Pokemon Adventures manga.
And I have no shame in admitting that. Adventures keeps things interesting by having the previous protagonists stay powerful and, in most cases, disappear into legend as some of the strongest trainers to have ever lived. This makes their journeys feel worthwhile, and after a saga's end, makes re-reading it feel like a sort of ancient fable past through the generations. It not only makes the trainers evolve individually, but the world itself, adding lore to the Pokemon world that will be past on long after we've stopped reading. Even if the anime did use different characters than the manga, I feel that it could only benefit by making one saga's hero live on as an inspiration before proceeding to the next. It would also solve the painful "never aging" plot hole and allow younger kids to come into a new season with greater ease.
Let's pretend we're seven years old. Our parents buy us Pokemon Black, and without any prior knowledge to the franchise, we can understand the game world, its story, and its characters with ease. While flipping through channels one day, we find that there's a TV show based on Pokemon! We turn it on and are greeted with characters in the middle of their journey, but maybe one day, the first episode of that saga comes on. Instead of learning anything about the characters' pasts, though, all we see are two random trainers that we've never met, one of which has a Pokemon we've never seen before on his back, and we quickly learn that, sans the "saga's female," we know nothing more about the characters than we did before! To summarize my main point in its own, bolded, stand-alone sentence:
A new main character every season would better help draw in newcomers to the series, in addition to removing all of the plot holes that piss off longtime fans.
As a final point, we have Pikachu. Don't act like this is off-topic, because we all know the main reason that they keep Ash weak: so that they can start each new season off with Pikachu again. This has driven Pikachu to such a level of stardom that the Pokemon's entire species has become nothing but sheer annoyance, even outside of the anime. Two Pokemon games have actually been lessened for me due to this mouse's popularity. The first is a minor one, Pokemon Black and White. Here we have what was supposed to be a fresh restart, an idea which I loved: an entire region with brand new Pokemon. None of the originals appeared until postgame, making this truly feel like a new continent and making the game fresh... but then I found a man in Castelia who owned a Pikachu. You couldn't scan it, battle it, or anything like that. It served no purpose but to say "hei gaiz luk wii knot ferrgit Pekechoo lulz kbai." In a region where no other Pokemon pre 494 existed, this temporarily destroyed my immersion. That was a minor complaint, though. The major complaint comes when a Pokemon spin-off game, which was famous for having an insanely high starter variety, suddenly decides to drop from seventeen starters down to five, all of which, in this case, should have been favorites from its representative generation 5. So what do they choose? The three starters, of course, and the addition of the regional pseudo-legend for number four. What popular Black/White Pokemon did they choose for slot number five then? Cubchoo? Scraggy? Sandile? Zorra? Mienshoo? Nope, ******* Pikachu. In a game that already had a massive loss of content from its previous games, we now have 20% of the starters not even be from the generation that it was pushing so hard. Thanks, Gates to Infinity.
The insistence of keeping Ash as the protagonist has made his star Pokemon, Pikachu, so popular that it's starting to affect the quality of the video games.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my two cents.
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If the show wants to focus on the journey and not the destination, fine. But Ash prattling on how he's "GUNNA BE A POKEMON MASTA" gets irritating when you know that he isn't and make it seem like the Anime thinks it's heading somewhere when it's aimless as all heck.
Five generations and 649 Pokemon. Ignoring the Pokemon that are coming up in the soon-to-be-released sixth gen, Ash has captured about 11% of all Pokemon.
Pokemon Master in the making, ladies and gentlemen.
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Till then? Read the fanfics...95% of them are bad...but a select few are lovable.
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BW is terrible. All of his character development in the previous series was scrapped for nothing.
As for Johto, what you saw as getting weaker was just Ash getting new inexperienced Pokémon. Once the Kanto starters went away, it focused on the Johto starters. You can't expect your LV5 Totodile in Gold to perform the same as that LV60 Charizard from Red.
As for Pikachu...come on. It is not because of Ash that Pikachu is shown everywhere related to Pokémon. It's because it's the mascot of the franchise. Even if Ash left the show, they'd most likely add another Pikachu and it'd still be in a ton of merchandise. Should Disney stop showing Mickey Mouse everywhere? Should Nintendo stop with Mario? Should Warner Bros stop with Bugs Bunny? Taking those away is like taking something away from the franchise. If you find Pikachu annoying, then I'm very sorry you feel that way. There are a lot people who like Pikachu.
Pikachu isn't affecting the quality of anything. I admit that is weird with Mystery Dungeon changing like that, but it's not like Pikachu forced the game designers to bow down to it. And that teeny little reference to Pikachu in Black and White? Come on, that isn't ruining anything.
And sorry to tell you, but catching every Pokémon in the world doesn't make you a Pokémon Master. It wouldn't be possible in the anime either. Things have changed since Gen I
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Your Mickey Mouse analogy was good, but to me, the flaw lies in the fact that Mickey Mouse isn't in everything Disney. Mickey Mouse wasn't in A Goofy Movie, he isn't in Hannah Montana (as far as I know), and lots of other stuff. Pikachu can remain the Pokemon franchise's mascot without being put into every single episode and game with very little deviation.
As for my last paragraph, yes, I overly emphasized my point, but it was intentional. The Gates to Infinity example did lessen my experience of the game a small, but noticeable, amount. The BW example, I admit, was merely annoying, and did break my immersion. It was mild and didn't affect my perception of the game as a whole in any way, but the fact that the moment, even if very briefly, drew negative attention from me served as a sort of warning sign. This is why I emphasized the words "starting to," instead of outright saying that the games are being harmed.
Again, though, this is all my opinion, and I fully respect yours as well. No point in arguing, given that I'm sure we're both set in our personal mindsets, I just felt like reinforcing my arguments, in hope that maybe you can at least see where I'm coming from. If not, oh well.
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It's all up to opinion like you said. I just find it weird when Pikachu is absolutely hated, which I mistakenly assumed from your post
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Well to me he always goes for the challenges let's say someone draws out a Squirtle he'd most likely choose a fire type pokemon like Chimchar or a weaker pokemon than the other.
I do agree with the weak protagonist opinion though.
I've been mulling it over, and I think what I really want is for Pokemon to be more like One Piece. Pokemon has a lot of things that can go well for it, but simply when it comes down to it, the writing is flat out terrible. Not verbatim copying One Piece, but just taking some ideas like:
The 11 Supernovas - For those who don't know, in One Piece, there are 11 rookie Pirates whose bounty top 100,000,000. Each one of them is said to be capable of starting a New Age of Piracy and any one of them could become the next Pirate King. Considering how many protagonists Pokemon has spawned over the years, I could easily see something like this in Pokemon. 11 rookie Trainers (Ash, Gary, Leaf, Ethan, Kris, Silver, Brendan, May, Lucas, Dawn, Barry) each capable of becoming a Pokemon Master and making a name for themselves in the Pokemon world. For this idea to work, I would rather Ash's story be contained in Kanto, exploring his region instead of always being in a mad dash to promote the next region and getting out of the current region whenever there is mention of a new game. Granted, we will get to hear about these other regions, but we simply don't just drop where we are because a new game is coming.
Rival Pirates - This is sort of an idea that I have been throwing around in my head. I would rather Gym Leaders be seen as prominent Trainers in the world rather than just being "Hey, here's your badge now leave". Gym Leaders aren't built up to be much of anything other than that. I would rather see them as just like every other Trainer and not confined to a building that you will never see again. But unlike every average Trainer, their names are known throughout their respective regions. I just imagine people like Brock and Misty being a well known Trainers in Kanto and Ash beating them causes the entire region to start talking about him (Like the enemies Luffy beat early on that made him known across the world). Think of it, how many times does beating a Gym Leader bear any sort of significance? Almost never. Nobody cares that Ash beat Trainers like Juan or Volkner because outside each episode that the battle was in, no one cared. But if These "Gym Leaders" were treated with actual respect and notoriety, then at least it wouldn't feel like Ash becoming a Pokemon Master being completely implausible.
Luffy Always Takes Center Stage - Other than arcs that introduce new crew members, the story of One Piece keeps its focus on Luffy and the interaction of his crew. For me, One Piece does this extremely well that despite having all of these characters, they still manage to treat the Straw Hat Crew like a family and none of them are lost in the shuffle. While Pokemon is at the opposite end of the spectrum with them having trouble with just 3 characters as opposed to One Piece's 10. I say keep the focus on Ash and merely show how he interacts with all of these people. And it wouldn't hurt to have some consistency instead of always having to switch out characters because they aren't in the new games. I would like the anime to start using their own characters instead of quickly looking for someone to take from the games and insert them in Ash's group and give some hastily explained reason as to why they have to follow him.
Training - This is one that really irks me in Pokemon. For someone who claims he wants to be a Pokemon Master, Ash does little to no training whatsoever and is usually quick to look for something else to do other than training. He doesn't have that desire to become stronger to achieve his goal nor does he feel like he really has to. When you hear Luffy say "I'm become the Pirate King" you just know its going to happen or you at least believe he has a shot, because above all else he'll show you why he can. With Ash, you can't name a single thing that would lead you to believe he has any shot in hell to succeed. Doesn't train, forgets things about battling on a constant basis and no clear form of motivation. Despite how dumb Luffy can be, when it comes to fighting it, its the one thing he never forgets. I would like Ash to actually show progression as a Trainer and take being a Pokemon Master seriously. Because as of now, I feel that deep down, Ash would be okay with failing. His entire attitude just screams "It's okay, at least I had some fun". With Luffy, he won't settle for anything less that what he always strives for, and that's being the Pirate King. Sure he laughs off certain death like its nothing, but not once do you ever feel like it was because he gave up.
"The Pirate King" - Just show us an actual Pokemon Master. What makes Luffy's goal actually obtainable is that we know that there was a Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. Nobody even dares to question that. Since Pokemon was created we still don't know what one is and because of the way Pokemon is written (Its abundantly clear that they won't reveal any sort of "secrets" in the series until they no longer can make any money and they have no choice but to end it) we will never know. Pokemon wasn't written with a clear defined end to the series or how certain thing will play out. Its very much "Make it up as we go along until we can't make any more money" and the writing shows it. It why we have so many filler episodes in any given arc. They don't know what the next plot is until they come up with it that week. At least in One Piece, you see that stuff was thought through and not just made up on the spot.
Expand the World - This sort of ties back into my first point. I would have like Ash to stay in Kanto for the most part. But not the Kanto we know in the games. One that is really expanded upon and not just the 8-10 small towns from the games. Show that these aren't just small towns by making them into countries or islands maybe. We would still have the other regions where other characters may come from, but we aren't always quick to scrap any ideas and characters because a brand new shiny game is coming out. We could still have the other regions, but our main focus would be where Ash is. In fact, Unova could have served as sort of a "New World" for Pokemon, the place where all other Trainers are going to and where the strongest of the strong gather.
"The Yonkou" - We sort of already have this with the Elite 4. But that title doesn't really amount to much. How "Elite" are you when there are 19 other Trainers that hold that same title? It would be sort of similar to what I said about the Gym Leaders. But unlike them, These 4 are said to be the closest to becoming the next Pokemon Master. Preferably one from each otf the previous 4 regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh).
I had other ideas, but these are all I can think of right now. I realize that this will NEVER happen because Pokemon isn't written or marketed that way, but I feel like there is some potential there. Just being misused.
Last edited by deathseer; 12th May 2013 at 3:35 AM.
U mad bro?