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Anime rivals development

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

  1. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    Honestly, they could bill anything as a rival, but it doesn't make it so. Gladion and Ash don't have the same goal they're competing for. Gladion wants to find his father. Ash wants to become a Pokemon Master. They're two totally separate goals with no real overlap. Gladion finding his father doesn't override Ash's chances. Ash becoming a Pokemon Master doesn't preclude Gladion from finding his father.

    Comparative to all other rivals, if they accomplish their goal, Ash can't accomplish his dream, and vice versa. That's what makes a rival, regardless of what "official material" says.
    Leonhart likes this.
  2. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    Then Alain is also not a rival because he wanted mega energy or whatever to cure the Chespin and Ash wanted to become a pokémon master
    LilligantLewis likes this.
  3. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    That's precisely what I meant. I suppose that the nasty attitude description applies to Shigeru to an extent as well, but in his case I always saw his smugness as being more harmless than Shinji's attitude, because Shinji seemed more genuinely mean than Shigeru. Shigeru was mainly just an egotistical kid, but not necessarily a bad person.
  4. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    The biggest difference is that 1) Alain was at best a League rival, anyway and 2) even if that weren't the case, Alain's goal is to be the strongest, not get Mega Evolution energy, which does stand in direct opposition of Ash's goal of becoming a Pokemon Master by winning the League.
  5. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Honestly most of the time I like the rivals more for the female companion than Ash. Only exception being Paul obviously, and in the OS Gary was the only rival since Misty/Brock didn’t have one.

    Isn’t it ironic the Contests and tripokalon’s provided some of the most memorable rivals of the series compared to most of Ash’s league rivals?
  6. Pokegirl Fan~

    Pokegirl Fan~ ^Me whenever I visit the PAD

    Serena's "rivals" were either forgettable or bland.
    LilligantLewis and BTS_fan like this.
  7. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Shauna was just ok but she’s like that in the games. Millifeui was very memorable, probably the funniest rival in XY.
    Xuxuba and TheWanderingMist like this.
  8. TheWanderingMist

    TheWanderingMist Kanae, Keeper of the Gates Emblazoned

    Not a good rival if you don't f******* develop as a person and instead drag the protagonist down to your level.
    maartjeverhoef likes this.
  9. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I don't know if Nene counts as an actual rival, but she was my least favorite TryPokaron contestant since she had a rather dull debut episode. Millefeui at least had an entertaining debut and personality to match, although it's a pity that her seiyuu changed.
    BTS_fan likes this.
  10. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Also if you count Ellie she was nice too. She was basically Serena’s Soledad-type rival.
    Xuxuba likes this.
  11. Underwhelming rivals are likely a result of the franchise's current view of rival character in its properties. They're big on friendly competition and down on antagonism because they believe people don't connect well with antagonistic characters anymore. The big issue with that (besides being nonsense) is that antagonism is the vital ingredient for a strong rivalry.

    Gary, Paul, Drew and Harley stand out to me as the best rivals in the series, and they're all antagonistic towards Ash and May. They're characters you're supposed to love-to-hate, but can also be appreciated by other parts of the fanbase for bringing a different attitude to the table. What's more, they're consistent with their attitude, displaying against anyone they're interacting. More importantly, their antagonistic personalities aren't what defines them, and we could understand them as characters as well.

    This is where they failed with Trip. Trip starts off antagonistic by insulting Ash and his home-town, but this isn't who he actually is, and he didn't display the same attitude to anyone else. He's more standoffish than spiteful, which is fine, but it doesn't make for a compelling rival character. He's kinda flat as a character in general, so there's nothing to look forward to when he appears. There's no spark between him and Ash (once you get past the gag of him ignoring Ash's enthusiastic attempts to talk to him), or between him and any other character.

    Part of me wonders if Trip's poor reception put them off making another antagonistic character. Sawyer and Alain were competent characters, but there was a distinct lack of friction between them and Ash. Sun and Moon has gone even further with this, eliminating rivals altogether (regardless of its efforts to portray Ash's classmates, Gladion and Hau as "rivals") by removing the emphasis on competition that was in previous seasons.

    I also believe that they're having issues with how they want to portray Ash these days, and that's limiting their scope of potential rivals. I feel that the past three seasons of the show have really sanitised Ash as a character to the point that he barely gets angry with people who aren't outright villains anymore. OS-DP Ash would try to throw down with people who genuinely angered him, but that particular trait has vanished. He's almost saint-like these days. It'd be hard to have an antagonistic rival for a character who wouldn't react to it at all.
    catzeye, BTS_fan and PorcelainVulpix like this.
  12. TheWanderingMist

    TheWanderingMist Kanae, Keeper of the Gates Emblazoned

    At least Gary is funny, Harley's retribution is hilariously disproportionate, and Drew is a Tsundere. They are fun to hate. Paul has no redeeming qualities and doesn't develop. Trip is kinda boring because it's obvious they wanted to redo the worst rival, but didn't know how to not do a blatant repeat. And then Stefan bounced off Ash better anyway.
  13. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Paul was the rival everyone projected Smogon players on and abusive trainers and gave Ash a wall to overcome.

    Had Paul never existed, the DP saga wouldn’t have been half as popular as it was.
  14. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I think they underestimate the audience by thinking that friendly rivals would go over better these days than antagonistic rivals. Frankly, I wish that Satoshi could just have one of each per saga, which almost worked in Isshu prior to Shooti's redemption and also before Bel became a complete joke.
    PorcelainVulpix likes this.
  15. PorcelainVulpix

    PorcelainVulpix lord momo of the momo dynasty

    Female companion wise, I feel like May had the best rivals by far. I still love any episode that Harley and Drew are involved in. May’s rivals are part of what make her story so interesting.

    Dawn’s rivals are the second best. Zoey and Kenny are cool and I enjoyed the Ursula episodes.

    I guess Georgia is okay too. Any other rivals for the female companions are pretty forgettable or unnecessary to me. Unless you count that guy Andreas from that episode in Johto. He was like Misty’s version of Gary and I wish he would have made more than one appearance because a rivalry between them would have been great to watch and I bet Andreas would have became one of the most infamous characters.
  16. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Kenny was probably the most boring rival in the series and he felt completely pointless by the end. Design wise he even looked bland, he looked like any filler character from the background of any random episode. It also felt like the writers acknowledged he was unpopular, because after early DP his appearances dwindle entirely and then they have him fail out of the Grand Festival and not even make it past the appeal round. The whole forced ship with him liking Dawn felt like a sad attempt to do another Contestshipping that backfired miserably.

    As I said above, I wish Ursula was introduced earlier in Kenny's place, and we could have had Ursula with a much bigger role in DP and Dawn to get an antagonistic rival earlier. Zoey was ok for what she was, but given she was like a mentor character she didn't really get much development...
  17. Red and Blue

    Red and Blue Well-Known Member

    Well he did thank his Electeivire for a job well done after losing. He never did that with his Pokemon, even if they won. That could be considered some growth and signs of becoming more compassionate to his Pokemon
  18. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    The end of AG hyped Gary up like he was making this huge return to the series, then when DP actually starts he's nowhere to be found. Gary then only appears in 3 DP episodes....out of a 191 episode series. They don't even have Gary meet Paul despite both being in Sinnoh. Gary doesn't even watch Ash in the Sinnoh league. Gary hasn't been seen since the Galactic finale in 2009 and he did next to nothing in that ep too.

    It actually makes you wonder, why did the writers hype up Gary like he was going to be this major character again, and then barely appear in DP...and then remain forgotten again? It's literally been 10 years since Gary appeared in an episode, they didn't even include him in the Kanto nostalgia eps in SM.
  19. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    We can't know for sure if he ever stopped his extreme training methods however since we never saw him train after he lost to Satoshi. The Elekible thing was a good sign that he might've stopped taking battling so seriously, though.
  20. Dream Lad

    Dream Lad Banned

    I am not a fan of this justification. Fennekin is partially to blame, if not deserves more of the blame, for not being mindful of a long ribbon while walking. Same for Eevee, who got plenty of love and support from everyone prior to competing. There was not one occasion where Serena did everything correctly, but just wasn't as good as her rivals. The only exception was against Aria, and that too only because Aria had massive bias from being a known favorite. Yeah, Serena's rivals were anything but rivals.
    LilligantLewis and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.

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