I felt it had a strong opening to thee series, and while there was a misstep with SM 6, it rebounded...and since SM 18 (barring SM 21) has begun collapsing structurally. They don't do enough with the school aspect, and the fact that Ash doesn't think of his next trial, even when Kiawe mentions Olivia feels wrong. That there is nothing big going on for episodes is a major issue the series is now having. I applaud the attempt at smaller things being filtered through the episodes, but there's nothing else so it comes off as empty.
Likewise, there are simply too many characters, and not enough strong battles when by this point we'd have had about 5-6 (we only have 2...and they weren't that great). Kiawe and Lillie are the only characters to do anything typically, while Mallow remained useless in her own focus episode and is too loved by the fandom for no real reason. I prefer Lana and Sophocles over her any day, and one is under utilized while the other is Fat Clemont. To me, at this point, the Gladion episode is the make-or-break of the entire series and where it will move forward.
It's been a great read. About the final part, if I recall the episode that aired post-Flare arc (the one with Cubone) had Alain saying something like being unable to actually beat Ash. It sure meets your point about Ash showing Alain what strenght truly is.
Even more so when major elements of what defined pokemon anime and Ash character for so many years is from looks of it with S&M altered and changed that we may as well not consider this to be Pokemon anymore. At least not one we grew up with having completely different values and direction story was supposed to follow. Sad.
Hi, you have account on bulbagarden too if im not mistaken? Thanks for sending me friend request! It seems we have somewhat similar views based on your posts in what kind of quagmire this anime has fallen into.
He didn't say anything about the power actually enhancing Charizard. But to be honest - it doesn't matter. It was not like it had to be shown now, out of all situations. They could easily write multiple situations. Without anything being fishy it would always be an incredibly bad written league, totally inconsequential and with a Charizard that lost 5 of 10000000 HP.
How they are now trying to say again "uh, there wasn't anything" just because the moment it could have been revealed perfectly it was not revealed perfectly. It is really interesting how the other side always tries to be right by bringing in something that is also just a claim. I, for what its worth, am perfectly fine with waiting more episodes. It was almost a pain to see Charizard being blown back by one move after being so invincible. Now if that is just because it is what it is, then I would think of it as very unfortunate.
I rewatched the end of 038 and something struck me - Alan didn't seem to care much that he won (which I had noticed before), but Ash's face appearing on the Pokeball seemed significant, moreso than the outcome of the battle. It's like the battle gave him a taste of the wholesome, innocent world Ash belongs to, and Alan used to belong to before he got involved in Lysandre's underworld. I'm not too good with Japanese but I've read stuff on fan blogs that suggests his battle with Ash was the only genuinely enjoyable thing he's done in a long while. This fits well with the points you've been making about Ash being the better trainer - I still find the end of the battle unsatisfying but I'm starting to think that there is a story point to it.