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Ash-Greninja Bond Phenomenon Mechanics

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Genaller, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Genaller

    Genaller Mein Kaiser

    As all of you know, Bond Phenomenon (BP) is the name given to the transformation that Ash’s Greninja underwent when the bond between him and Ash became strong enough and was perfected when Ash and Greninja both got on the same page via their mutual love for Pokémon. What I’m interested in discussing on this thread is the actual mechanics of the form (a.k.a how it works) since the anime doesn’t directly tell us much beyond “they have shared sensations”.

    Let’s get into more detail regarding this. Ash and A-G are able to share their vision with each other which allows Ash to get a more in-depth view of A-G’s environment thereby allowing him to command A-G more optimally (this is best illustrated in XYZ 28 when Ash is commanding A-G on how to outmaneuver the incoming obstacles during the rescue scene and in XYZ 35 when Ash is seemingly directing A-G’s body in outmaneuvering Mega Sceptile’s Frenzy Plant). In XYZ 46 we get confirmation that the shared vision quality remains even when Ash and A-G aren’t in the direct vicinity of each other.

    Speaking of XYZ 46 we also see that Ash can essentially have long distance phone calls with A-G which is best explained by their hearing also being in sync. A question that many would have here is “why doesn’t Ash command A-G telepathically?”. I admit that personally I would’ve found it really cool if that happened though there’s a pretty simple explanation for it; Ash is used to commanding all of his Pokémon verbally hence he does the same with A-G most of the time out of habit though it is worth noting that there are a few instances where Ash subconsciously directs A-G’s movements like when A-G was dodging Mega Sceptile’s Frenzy Plant (this is illustrated symbolically by having a silhouette of Ash appear beside A-G making the same movements as him) indicating that with training he could learn to telepathically direct A-G more naturally.

    Now regarding Ash mimicking A-G’s movements another question arises; under what circumstances will Ash and will Ash not preform the same actions as A-G? This is how you can think about it. There are a set of actions that Ash can perform and a set of actions that A-G can perform. If A-G performs a given action for which Ash is capable of performing an equivalent corresponding action (e.g. the movements during the set up of Water Shuriken as shown while he was battling Diantha’s Mega Gardevoir in Veil form), then Ash will perform that action; however, if A-G preforms a given action for which Ash is incapable of performing a corresponding equivalent action (e.g. actually creating the Water Shuriken in the previous example since Ash is not a Pokémon), then Ash will simply do nothing. This explains why we don’t see Ash move at A-G’s incredible speeds or why Ash doesn’t do the high jumps or back flips that A-G does in battle; Ash simply didn’t have the physical capabilities to do so. Bascially when A-G performs an action, signals are sent from A-G’s brain to Ash’s brain; if Ash’s brain believes Ash is capable of performing this action then it let's Ash do so whereas if it doesn’t then it just gives the default action as an output a.k.a Ash does nothing. I would presume that the converse of this should also be true.

    Finally let’s discuss the pain mechanic. It does seem like Ash and A-G share the same pain with Ash looking visibly hurt when the pain is especially bad though it is worth noting that Ash’s pain thresholds increase with time as we see him explicitly training himself alongside Greninja so that he can better handle A-G’s pain. What’s particularly worth noting is that the A-G transformation is undone right before Greninja is KOed as a fail-safe measure in order to prevent Ash from also getting “knocked out”. A natural question that arises is that if Ash is affected by the battle damage A-G takes, then would Ash also be affected by any status condition that A-G gets affected with? The surprise answer is yes! We do know that status conditions work on humans, so it would stand to reason that Ash is capable of feeling the effects of status conditions in particular:

    — Sleep -> Ash also falls asleep while Greninja is affected
    — Poison -> Ash feels momentarily unwell at periodic intervals
    — Paralysis -> Ash finds it more difficult to move at times
    — Burn -> Ash’s body temperature has momentary spikes at periodic intervals
    — Freeze -> Ash’s body temperature drastically decreases while A-G is affected
    — Confusion -> Ash also gets confused while A-G is affected

    Now it does seem like status conditions are A-G’s secret biggest weakness though I’m certain that he can counter at least half of these ailments. For Sleep we know that there’s a small window of time between when a Pokémon is affected with the condition and when the Pokémon actually falls asleep. From the Viola battle we know that the pain from causing damage to your head during this interval can prevent you from falling asleep (though of course this interval varies from Pokémon to Pokémon and you would presumably need a really strong will like Ash’s Pikachu for the interval to be ‘long enough’ such that you can successfully use a move on your head). Bascially the moment A-G would get affected, Ash would (either directly or subconsciously) have A-G quickly smack his head with Cut or Aerial Ace to prevent Sleep.

    For Freeze we’ve actually seen Base Greninja break out of it with little effort (vs Wulfric’s Abamasnow), so Ash-Greninja backed up by Ash’s incredible will power (which has helped Pikachu get out of Freeze in the past) should have no trouble breaking out of this condition whatsoever (at most it might lead to a minor time delay in A-G’s next move which may or may not give the opponent an openning depending on how competent they are).

    For Confusion Ash has shown that through ‘bond power’ he can break his Pokémon out of this condition (namely Charizard and Bulbasaur), and while it did take a bit of time in these cases (during which Ash reminded both of them just how strong their bond with him was), since Ash and Greninja’s feelings are always connected while Greninja is in the A-G state (a.k.a Ash and Greninja can quite literally tell each other “I know what you’re feeling bro”), it would be far easier for A-G to break out of Confusion.

    That leaves Burn, Paralysis and Poison for which it’d honestly be quite interesting to see whether Ash could ‘break’ Greninja free from these ailments (you can’t do this without using a special move like Refresh or Heal Bell in the games) or if not then it’d be interesting to see how Ash deals with the corresponding handicaps to his physical condition.

    That covers my thoughts on this matter till date. Let me know if you disagree with any of my explanations or think that there are still certain aspects regarding the mechanics of Bond Phenomenon that I’ve failed to address in this post. Also as a fun bonus question what do you think would happen to Ash if A-G gets affected by a status condition?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
    keepitsimple and blizzardblaze like this.
  2. Spider-Phoenix

    Spider-Phoenix Go, Go Power Rangers

    As for Ash mimicking Greninja's movements, I guess it's not something they do for every single time (or else, Ash would be jumping around during a battle) but to either coordinate actions without really speaking or even as a way to keep their bond going.

    Or maybe, they just get so carried away by their power surge and synchronization they sometimes do the other's actions without even knowing.
  3. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    Don't forget that the anime hasn't shied away from things like ghost-type possession or psychic-type mind control. If Ash were to be taken over by a psychic's mind control, would Greninja's dark-type prevent something like that or will he be controlled. Would a ghost-type invalidate the bond phenomenon by forcing Ash out of the equation or would Greninja be forced into a bond with a ghost?
    Spider-Phoenix likes this.
  4. Genaller

    Genaller Mein Kaiser

    Well yeah my take would be that Ash doesn’t do those jumping maneuvers because he wouldn’t be capable of jumping at that height and/or speed though yeah those synchronized movements could be a way of increasing their synchronization even further.

    Yeah it’s also possible that this is something they’re doing without being self-aware of it.

    Well first off thanks for reminding me about this :). I think if there were a successful alteration in Ash and/or Greninja’s mental state (e.g. Ash’s brain got taken over by the King of Pokelantis) then BP should terminate since a prerequisite for activating that form is for Ash and Greninja to be on the same page. What I’m not sure about is whether they’d be able to prevent such things via bond power like how they were able to negate the effects of that ME energy device that Lysandre tried using to control them in a manner similar to how he was controlling Zygarde at the time.
    Spider-Phoenix and blizzardblaze like this.
  5. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    It's far easier to resist when you're aware of a force acting against you. Not so much when the force is much more subtle.
    Spider-Phoenix likes this.
  6. Apslup

    Apslup Triple Star Hunter

    Really hit the nail on the head with this analysis man. I'm still really annoyed that Ash and Ash-Greninja couldn't communicate telepathically (the audience can just hear their thoughts).
  7. Genaller

    Genaller Mein Kaiser

    Perhaps though remember that Ash and A-G will be able to keep constant tabs on each other’s mental activity, so the moment 1 detects something fishy in the other’s mental condition, they’ll make them alret of it, so it’s going to have to be really subtle in order to simultaneously get past both Ash and A-G’s senses ;).
  8. blizzardblaze

    blizzardblaze Comp. Battler Who loves The Anime

    Also, physical conditions matter as well , I'm guessing. Imagine what would happen if Ash greninja got poisoned somehow?
  9. Genaller

    Genaller Mein Kaiser

    Actually I’ve already addressed that :). Amusingly though I wonder what would happen if 1 of them legitimately got sick during battle.
  10. blizzardblaze

    blizzardblaze Comp. Battler Who loves The Anime

    I think it'd actually force them to break the phenomenon because ash isn't used to poison coursing through his veins. Plus Greninja has never been poisoned before.
  11. Spider-Phoenix

    Spider-Phoenix Go, Go Power Rangers

    I don't think it'd break the transformation. I think the only things that can make Greninja revert to his default form are:

    - Ash faints
    - Greninja faints
    - They turn it off at will after a battle.
    Genaller likes this.
  12. LilligantLewis

    LilligantLewis primarina donna

    @Genaller do you believe that Ash's Greninja has the ability Battle Bond, which was the game's explanation of it, or do you believe that is not the case? And btw, I don't mean the way Battle Bond works in the game, it's obvious he doesn't have that, but I'm wondering whether you think he has an anime-version of that ability, or whether you think Greninja's Ability is something else that has still yet to be confirmed.

    So are you saying they're incapable of turning it off at will during a battle? Or just that it's never happened?
  13. Genaller

    Genaller Mein Kaiser

    Ash’s Greninja has the anime version of “battle bond” (though it’s called “bond phenomenon”). The difference is that Ash’s Greninja can activate the form at will (when Ash’s there) rather than needing to KO a Pokémon first (which was put in place for game balancing).
    LilligantLewis likes this.
  14. blizzardblaze

    blizzardblaze Comp. Battler Who loves The Anime

    Then doesn't that mean Ash Greninja in the anime is objectively better than the version we got in the games(even though moveset wise it's not the best game wise) as he could have Torrent?
  15. ShadowForce720

    ShadowForce720 Well-Known Member

    I think he misunderstood what Genaller was saying when he said that Ash's Greninja had the anime version of Battle Bond, he didn't mean that Ash's Greninja's ability was Torrent, he meant more along the lines that Ash's Greninja's ability in the anime is still Battle Bond(aka Bond Phenomenon) however it just works a bit differently in the anime but it's still Ash's Greninja's ability.
  16. MiloticTwins

    MiloticTwins Well-Known Member

    Did you think that Greninja has lost his Ash-Greninja form because his former Trainer Ash has released him instead of keeping him at Professor Oak's Laboratory?
  17. Genaller

    Genaller Mein Kaiser

    No. Whenever Ash and Greninja reunite (which will be whenever Greninja’s mission is finished), they’ll be able to activate the transformation again and nothing in the anime suggests otherwise.
    blizzardblaze and LilligantLewis like this.
  18. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    I don't see why the transformation wouldn't work, but then again, I won't kid myself into thinking that Gekkouga's chances of coming back are high in the first place.
  19. MiloticTwins

    MiloticTwins Well-Known Member

    Right after managing to save the entire Kalos from the danger of ex-Team Flare alongside Squishy and Z-2, what do you think happens when Ash's formerly owned Greninja passed away from his heart attack due to overexertion from this?
  20. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    This never would've happened, so it's hard to even fathom. I'm just glad that the whole side effect thing never harmed Satoshi permanently.

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