Paul definitely needed more human moments. He's a monster to the point where it's hard to like the guy at all as a person. Having a better motivation would have made him seem less like a monster despite the awful things he has done. And like you said, Koya was great because his development was shown and was believable. Paul all of a sudden turning nicer toward the end without us seeing him change really hurt his story.
Yeah, Apocolymon's reputation by American audiences is not helped by the dub. People would really have to watch the original to appreciate him. If the dub is the only experience they got out of him, he's really not a great, memorable final boss at all. Myotismon and the Dark Masters get more talk than Apocolymon does from what I've seen on forums. I'd even say that in terms of the dub, even Devimon and Etemon were better. Etemon was a perfect balance between ridiculous and legitimately threatening and Devimon was able to be taken seriously while still putting up a good fight before being taken down. Apocalymon to me is just an anticlimactic final boss joke. Thank goodness they treated the future final bosses with more respect. Even if I'm not a fan of MaloMyotismon as the final boss of the Adventure 02, he was terrifying and a threat.
Koya would probably be very popular if he was a character in the anime or the games and more people knew about him, and yeah, his motivation made so much more sense than Paul's whose whole thing, like you said, was basically "Oh geez my brother got all the badges of 4 different regions and 6 Frontier symbols...but who cares...he couldn't beat one opponent who's known to be one of the strongest trainers ever...he's weak and his methods won't work."
Yeah, Apocalymon was such a joke in the dub version. I mean, he was the final boss of the anime and he was completely overshadowed in the creepiness department by Myotismon/VenomMyotismon, Piedmon, and Machinedramon in terms of creepiness. I mean, if the dub could treat those characters with so much respect when they were all tests for the Digidestined before the final villain, why butcher Apocalymon so much? I mean even the dubbers felt that Apocalymon was creepier than the other villains when watching the original and decided he needed some toning down, that's fine...but Jesus...why tone him down that much?
I really should get to reading it. It is an awesome story. Hareta is such a hilarious character and all his antics are fun to watch. Mitsumi is probably my favorite character. I love her backstory and that even after everything Galactic did, she still seems to consider them to be a family and cares for them after Charon takes over. And Koya is such an amazing rival. The original characters in this are so great and I love how much emphasis they put on Team Galactic. The way they concluded Cyrus' run as Team Galactic's leader was so much more satisfying than the finale of Galactic in the anime.
It's unfortunate because I thought we had gotten passed that. That's been the show's problem since DA. It just feels like it's going through the motions with no heart or soul behind it, which I mean, even something like Johto could at least claim it had some heart at certain points like when Charizard left or Gotta Catach Ya Later (there's probably even more in there). Ash goes from gym to gym as he's always been doing but not much interesting stuff is going on with that. Hoenn reinvented the anime in a way that allowed more to be going in the background. Any series that is just Ash getting badges with filler in between is boring to me because A) even though gym battles are fun to watch, they've never really made or broken a series for me and B) I truly believe most of the filler in XY is garbage. Any series that relies on filler to be bridge for each gym battle is going to have a hard time impressing because the filler hasn't been consistently brilliant since Kanto, which was almost 2 decades ago.
Lysandre as a solo villain works for me, too. I just want conflict in general. It feels like they are holding out on all the good stuff to end Kalos with a bang rather than BW's approach, which wrapped up most of its stories and still had a few months left before XY that they devoted to Filler Islands. I don't mind this approach too much if it means Kalos will end on a really good note, but I don't like how they made Year 1 almost as uninteresting as DA and parts of Johto just to hold the good stuff until the end. Something that series like AG and DP were good at is that they consistently had things going on whether they were done poorly or not and that made me more engaged in them than Kalos has made me for its fist year. It is getting better, but I wonder how much that first year will hurt its legacy.
I haven't seen Johto in a long time to really compare it to Kalos, but compared to every other region, Kalos is still below. Taking so long to introduce any rivals and Serena's goal really hurt it IMO. For a while, TRio were the only conflict in the show besides the rare Malamar appearance and yikes...I'd go as far as to say this version of TRio is slightly above their DP incarnations if only because they don't appear all the time but way below their AG selves and way, way, way, way, way, way, way below their OS and BW (outside of DA) incarnations. I've been loving the Alain and Flare stuff so far, though. Flare still has the potential to be one of the better villain arcs in the anime.
I agree there. That was really the only part I wasn't invested in, which is really high praise. I could see why so many people say this is the best season. I don't know if I would put it over season 1, but it's really close IMO. Speaking of season 1, Tri. not coming out until November? Noooooooooo.
I'm really glad to have you back. I missed you. I understand why you left, though. I mean, that first year of XY was really lackluster, and it still hasn't gotten better in much areas for me...still missing Best Wishes a lot.
And Holy S___. Yes, it got extremely dark. It was a great ride, though. I honestly don't have any points where I felt the series took a dive in quality except for the possible exception of the first few episodes when they went to the Digital World, which weren't bad but it sort of drifted away from what I loved about the series, which was their presence in the real world and how much focus they put on the kid characters and their relationships with their family as well as the HYPNOS stuff. The girl Digidestined characters in particular were great. Rita is now probably in my top 5 favorite Digidestined of all time, and Jeri had one of the most tragic story arcs in the series.
Wow, Pierce, that was quick. Remember at the end of BW when we talked about how Iris will be known as the worst female lead the show has had? Now, with Serena's handling, the tide has turned and the attention has turned to Serena as the worst written female lead and I agree. Serena makes Johto Misty look active.
Speaking of Iris, I saw both hers and Cilan's specials with the subs recently and they were incredible. Both of them were so well done, and Iris' powers where she gets to see what a dragon is thinking and discover its past are awesome.
Pierce, have you heard the recent news about the XY anime? There are some things coming up that have potential and Butler is speculating that both of Giovanni's conversations with TRio being connected means TR might have a big role later down the road.
It's really upsetting how low the show has gone since DA! started. There's a clear difference in how the forums were like when BW/BW2/EN were airing and when XY were airing. As much as people always bash Best Wishes, don't they realize that Best Wishes gave us things to talk about other than Serena every single day?
I mean, it's absolutely ridiculous that the heart of the conversation on here ever hour of every day is "Will Serena get a goal now?" And we are almost 30 episodes in. What other show goes this long talking one single thing 99% of the time especially when that thing is wondering whether a girl is who is supposed to be a main character will finally do something?
Yeah I know lol. It seems to be only a filler though while those 2 episodes had interesting content in it. I still wish that they would release those, that was what I really wanted to see.
XY seems to be a flop, I haven't really liked it much since Serena has been basically neglected in favor of Ash, she was really the only reason why I was still watching.