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Anime rivals development

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Hanto, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Hanto

    Hanto Water Addiction

    It is just my own opinion, but do you think that quality of rival's characters and story is getting worse and worse since AG and DP?
    Paul was the pinnacle of rival's character development and his conflict with Ash was the most interesting part of this series. Coordinator rivals of May and Dawn also were kinda well-balanced, except maybe Kenny and Nando, but secondaries are always getting pretty shafted.
    BW rivals had a great potential, but turned out kinda meh. They all were very fun characters with cool personalities and chemistry with Ash/Iris/Cilan, however, none of these rivalries got a conclusion. I feel very bitter about Trip the most, cause he started as a total jerk, but keeps getting more friendly towards the end of series and battle with Alder. Trip revealed to Ash the reason behind Oshawott's inability to use Aqua Jet, helped during venipede invasion and started to understand that power is not the only key to a victory after unexpected strategies of Ash and Bianca. After Junior Cup he had greatly subdued his nasty attitude, having been humbled by his battle with Alder too. Along with his newer persona, he showed a genuine interest in battling Ash in the League, and along with that ceased his past tendencies of mocking him.
    So the writers could turn that fact into something similar to Sawyer-Ash friendly relationships. While Trip would learn unusual tactics from Ash, the latter would use more strategy and rely on abilities and switches in battle. However, we did not see even a proper full battle. Trip would have a pretty menacing team of Chandelure, Conkelldur, Serperior, Unfezant, Vanillux and Jellicent, but only his starter got some time to shine and Conkelldur surpassed Torterra's overwhelming losing streak. The same thing applies to Georgia and Burgundy and to a lesser extent to Kenyan and Bianca.
    Original XY rival trio of Shauna, Tierno and Trevor started kinda well, but were completely downplayed to background later. Ash has no proper battle with Tierno before the League. Shauna/Miette/Nene never really defeat Serena and just not feel like real rivals and threat, Serena never lose because any of them outshined her performance. Sawyer is okay, Alain is Marty Stew, and Amelia is an example of wasted potential.
    SM series brings only one rival that is Gladion, however, he feels like a recurring character, not a main rival. He had some interesting conflict with Ash about UBs nature (Ash considered them as just Pokemon from different dimension, while Gladion thought they are monsters) and that could lead to potential showdown between Naganadel and Silvally, but alas...
    Hau is pretty loveable and interesting character from the games who got just one episode and was eventually defeated by grass type Z-Move with 0,25 x effectivity -_-
    Do you think that nowadays rivals are poorly handled and have a less impact on the main characters?
    catzeye and mehmeh1 like this.
  2. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    It's probably hard for the writers to top Shinji since he had the best character arc out of all the rivals in the anime from my perspective. I think that the writers tried to replicate him when they introduced Shooti, but it seemed like they gave up on developing his rivalry with Satoshi something after Adeku's debut episode: their rivalry just seemed really dreary after that point, and their last battle being a simple one-on-one was a disappointment. The Kalos rivals didn't feel like much of a threat either, with the exception of Alain, but he was more of a League rival than a long-term rival like Shinji and Shooti were. So yes, I do think that the quality of Satoshi's rivals has diminished.
    Emelie and MockingJ like this.
  3. MockingJ

    MockingJ Banned

    It's not just Ash's rivals who have sucked in the latest sagas, the rivals of the female characters have been really lame too. I'm talking about Nini and Miette especially since they didn't seem like they were even on Serena's level, so it was hard to take them seriously when they began competing in Showcases. Also Georgia started off good as Iris's rival but then she soon became a second Burgundy...
  4. Sham

    Sham We were robbed

    I honestly see no similarities between Trip and Paul besides their nasty attitude. It seems Trip to me was more closely sculpted after Cheren. They both believed in and relied on power to carry them through and had conflicted views with Alder, only to be humbled by him later.

    That said yes I do. Gladion was once a good potential rival but his battles with Ash have been TRASH. You can easily skip them and keep it moving. XY rivals were not introduced until more than halfway into the series (minus the Kanto starter trio and Miette). The only one who wasn’t forgettable was Sawyer and that was ONLY because he was the first underdog rival in the anime. Finally the only saving graces of the BW rivals was the chemistry/interactions were strong but overall Trip, Burgendy and to an extent Georgia were disappointing.
    catzeye likes this.
  5. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    I think Gladion is the best rival we've ever had. He has actual motivations for his actions. Paul is just a butthurt whiny kid who can't get over his brother losing a battle once and takes it out on the rest of the world for years.
    Emelie, catzeye and TheWanderingMist like this.
  6. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    SM's rivals were mostly such for secondary purposes. While most rivals exist as satellite characters to boost the protagonist's development, SM is usually the other way round, they become rivals with the protagonist to help establish themselves as major characters afterwards. Gladion, Masked Royal and even Kaiwe became rivals with Ash to help maintain a consistent presence and use even when their central development isn't in place.

    Hau and Horacio are perhaps the two exceptions, and in the case of Hau only because he's only really appeared once, while Horacio did notably go through actual character development himself.
  7. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Millifeui was handled perfectly, she was used to ship tease Serena's crush on Ash, we saw her multiple times, and she also seemed to have a crush on Serena. We also saw her tag team with James and battle Ash and Serena in the dancing episode, the one Sylveon evolved in. I mean, what else is there to do with her? She was handled very well.
    Xuxuba likes this.
  8. Hanto

    Hanto Water Addiction

    Miette and Serena are both performancers, so I would like to see them compete in the Tripokalon and have some rivalry moments. Maybe Serena should have lost to her one time. But we have got a shipping teasing jerk instead.
    Emelie likes this.
  9. Apslup

    Apslup Feelin' Fine.

    If I'm being honest, the only good rivals Ash has had were Paul, Sawyer and Alain.

    Paul is easily the best rival in the series as a whole, pushing Ash and his training ideology to the very limit, making every interaction between the two of them impactful. It also led to one of the best battle of the entire series in the quarter-finals of the Sinnoh League. Watching Saywer go from a weak trainer who worshipped the ground Ash walked on to a Kalos League Semi-Finalist was really fun. All his battles and interactions with Ash were fun and were a niec change of pace from the jerk rivals that the anime so commonly goes for. Alain is a good rival, but I think that most of his character growth comes from the Mega-Evolution specials mostly, but his interactions with Ash are still good. I would mention Gary as well, but I never really considered him a legit rival. He's a great character who is entertaining as hell, but as a rival, I don't really buy it. All he really does is rub his success in Ash's face and when Ash did fight him, it was pretty evenly-matched.

    As for the female charcater's rivals, I always quite enjoyed May's rivals, but I really loved Zoey from DP. She's nice, but competitive. She's friendly with Dawn, giving her tips to help her out when she got started but she was also fiesty and determined, which struck a good balance. She's one of my favorite characters from the anime because of this.
    Emelie, RLC, catzeye and 1 other person like this.
  10. Xuxuba

    Xuxuba Well-Known Member

    She only needed 3 keys to participate in the Master Class, so she couldn't possibly lose to every single one of her rivals, unless they wanted her to look very incompetent.

    Nonetheless, she still lost to Shauna, Jessie and Aria, which were also her rivals.
  11. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    That’s what she did. Also Millifeui liked Serena, she probably had a crush on her and teased her about liking Ash all the time. She was never mean to her after her first episode, and Millefeui smiled at Serena when she won her princess key when they were in the same competition together. I think you missed the entire point of her character.

    Ursula was the typical mean female rival, she was great too it’s too bad she was introduced too late in the series and just lost to Dawn 3 times in a row. They should have never introduced kenny and brought in Urusula early instead
  12. Hanto

    Hanto Water Addiction

    Nah, thats the totally different case. Serena lost both of showcases because her own or Pokemon mistakes. Fennekin tripped on the ribbon, Eevee had some anxiety issues, but that was problems of her Pokemon, not her performance. Serena never was overperformed by any of her rivals (that is why I did want her have a lose against Amelia) unlike May or Dawn, and when she made a normal performances without any issues she always wins.
    The purpose of rivals is to be on par with protagonist, make main character progress both personality and skills, sometimes that leads to main girl being defeated. Unlike coordinators, Serena never lose because someone was better performer than her except for Aria, that thing bothers me the most. She always had the same fiery dancing routine and never invented anything different from her past performances, while Dawn constantly worked on the new combinations.
  13. Sham

    Sham We were robbed

    .....so her SHOWCASE rival was a good rival because she competed with her for a BOY, who “wasn’t her entire character arc anyway” as some people claim. Also I highly doubt Miette and Serena had some type of secret lesbian relationship going on
  14. Ignition

    Ignition Champion SZN

    Yeah I don’t think there’s been a standout rivalry since DP. Some like Sawyer are close but not quite there. I think the main issue is there’s hardly any investment in their battles especially since they either show up late or rarely battle Ash.
    Emelie, catzeye and PorcelainVulpix like this.
  15. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    That was part of her character being a ship tease, but she competed with her in showcases, battled her in a tournament where sylveon evolved, and put on great appeals. Also it is pretty likely Millifeui had a thing for Serena, there’s subtle nods to it in most episodes. Like she was pretending to want to steal Ash from Serena, but you can tell she never really had a crush on Ash and was doing it to embarrass Serena. The fact that every episode Millifeui appeared in has a Amourshipping tease or moment in it where Serena blushes over Ash says a lot. “Have you made some progress? Or I will steal Ash from you.”
  16. TheWanderingMist

    TheWanderingMist Samayo Kiri, Keeper of the Gates Ethereal

    Alain is a good rival. People just hate him for beating Ash. Heck, you could say Alain is to Ash as Ash is to Sawyer.

    AG didn't even have rivals for Ash until shortly before the League.

    Gary could have had more focus but he was hilarious every time he showed up.

    Stefan and Bianca were good, Trip was clearly somebody the writers didn't know what to do with.

    We all know I'm not going to compliment Paul or the "rivalry".

    Gladion could have been handled better if he actually had his own episodes instead of stealing Lillie's. Hau is the classic late rival. Kiawe is the closest thing to a focused rival Ash has in SM.
    maartjeverhoef likes this.
  17. Xuxuba

    Xuxuba Well-Known Member

    That's like saying Ash didn't lose the League, Greninja/Charizard/Pikachu did.

    They are partners, it's her job as a performer and trainer to make sure her pokemon are in their best condition to compete. It's her job to train them and help them overcome what they lack.

    Serena lost the first one not only because Fennekin tripped, but also because she didn't cut the ribbon well-enough to make sure her pokemon could actually walk in the runway. Shauna had succeded in not only making her pokemon look good, but also at giving her pokemon enough mobility to walk down the runway. So at that moment she was superior to Serena as a performer.

    The second time Serena lost, she did so because she chose to perform with an inexperient pokemon who still had problems with stage fright. Not to mention she hadn't taught Eevee what to do when something goes wrong in the middle of her performance. She still had to work on her pokemon's confidence, while Jessie's pokemon were far more confident and they were able to give an outstanding performance.

    Meanwhile, Serena lost to Aria simply because Serena had no experience in building a fanbase and it is extremely important for a performer to gather a lot of fans and captivate as many people as possible. Aria was far more experient in that aspect.
  18. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Paul is the pinnacle of anime rivals and a great boon to us all. All hail king Paul.
  19. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    How is Gladion even considered a rival? A rival by definition shares the same goal as the other person, with only one able to attain it. Now, maybe the League has made them rivals...maybe, but it's also made everyone a rival to the point that the concept of it has diminished and lends it little gravitas. Gladion could've been a rival early on when the main goal was the trials, but by this point Gladion is doing his own thing that has no real connection to Ash and they just happen to battle occasionally when they meet.

    And us, Paul getting angry wasn't about his brother losing a battle, but about his brother giving up after losing that battle. Which is still a motivation...

    Building off what @Xuxuba said, all those "mistakes" are still part of the performance. They were still something she did wrong. If we're not going to count those, I'm sure there are plenty we can find for both Dawn and May that "wouldn't count" as well.

    Though I suppose I can say it is, and always was, a partial flaw of Showcases. Who wins a Showcase is incredibly arbitrary, since it's based on popularity. If Serena just lost with no mistakes made, you'd have to question "well, why?" Aria winning from popularity makes perfect sense with who she is, but Jessie and the others have no such excuse, necessarily. So if they were to win despite neither making a mistake, it's more questionable and arbitrary. But with Serena failing to do what she should as a Performer, it tells the audience "this is why she failed". We have a clear metric and understanding for why.

    As for the tired "same old fire routine"...did you actually see her performances? Just look at the one in XY 80, and then in XYZ 20. They may use fire, but they are so vastly different, I'd hardly call them the same routine. One is barebones with minimal movement, while the other is like watching a symphony of moves in motion. Fire is the core concept, but there's so much else. Besides, if you watch literally any other Performer, they do the same moves over and over again, too. Jessie is the only one who changes it up. Which I'm sure is applicable to real life: you play to your strengths. Voters are going to vote on how you played your core strengths, because that's how they recognize you. If you tried something different, it might turn them off.
  20. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Gladion is a rival in SM. He’s billed as one.

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