That would just annoy me. Knowing he "won" but lost where it mattered. Just let Ash win at the league. Or interrupt the match before/during the final battle, and let them resolve it in Flare arc. Then Alain can declare Ash the victor, and he wins the league.
There's no justification for it not being Paul-length. This is the hyped match. This is the finals. There's not going to be arc fatigue since that would cap the league at 7 episodes. Let's hope they don't disappoint.
I'm also hoping for AG/DP style of writing. I have not lost faith completely in Pokemon anime yet. And every once in awhile it does surprise me. Good characters, good Pokemon, engaging rivals are the things I'm going to look for when Sun and Moon starts.
Who knows, maybe that was the writer's purpose. In DP, he learned about E4/Champion League, and now in XY, he is making the actual attempt to reach that point. If it wasn't for the random BW 'reset' shoved in between, it'd make more sense.
I agree that he should have met one or two E4s along the way, but everything else pointed to Ash being a really good trainer in XY.
I mean, narratively, XY has been portraying Ash to go far at the league. At end of BW, he vows to win the KL. The gym leaders praise him. His group praises him. Manon praises him in her first meeting with Alain. Trevor/Tierno aren't rivals to him. Leprechaun looks up to him (when has that happened before?). Alain respects him, and wants to face him for the crown. His frog went toe-to-toe against Diantha's signature Mega. Maybe this is supposed to be post-DP Ash after all.
"Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Both justified and subverted through the game's partner mechanic. Seraph characters need to be linked to a human vessel in order to participate (otherwise, they're literally all in Sorey's head). Each of the human characters can switch between Seraphim to best suit the current situation. Essentially, every party member can be used in the same battle, though how many actually fight at once depends on how many human characters are in the current party."
Translation to English: Serena is not a strong, independent woman, or at least that's what Chris' argument boils down to, essentially.
It's been so long since AG, and even DP to a slightly lesser extent, that I wonder how I would feel about them nowadays if I went through each episode like I do in my weekly reviews. I think if I averaged all 89 scores I've given out, it would probably be around a 7/10. Agree with the rest. Yeah, Mega Evolution Act III might be one of my favorite episodes in the entire show. I'm really looking forward to XY&Z. And I agree, hope it doesn't rush through it and plummet like BW. I wouldn't mind two full more years with a late, successful league, even though it's more likely it might follow AG.