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Ash vs Tobias, what went wrong?

Zero1999

Well-Known Member
Lately i watched again the episode of Ash battling Tobias after many years, the topic itself might feel like a broken recorder from time to time, however i wanna ask people about their opinion about this battle from when this first aired to this day and what do you guys consider went wrong in this battle? Is it Tobias? Is it just how very little we know about him? What feelings gave you watching this for the first time? Was it justified the way Ash was curvestomped?

Share your thoughts about this controversial league episode
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
Ignoring the obvious [the writers' desire to end the Shinou League in just one episode], I think Satoshi made several mistakes when he chose his line-up. He never should've brought Fukamaru and Cotoise to that battle. Fukamaru's only real claims up to that point was its Draco Meteor attack and the fact that it could use Rock Smash: the latter attack which Darkrai recovered from quite easily, anyway. Draco Meteor in itself wasn't a particularly useful attack again fast opponents from my viewpoint, so that wasn't a good strategy either. Then there's the simple fact that Fukamaru just wasn't bulky enough to have good defensive properties, as witnessed when it lost to a single Dark Pulse. As for Cotoise, it never had any impressive wins up to that point, so it really should've been left out due to common sense alone.

Even Heracross was quite middling in general: it didn't have the most impressive battle record, so it shouldn't have been on Satoshi's priority list as a good weapon against Takuto, but this is assuming that Satoshi put any real thought into his choices to begin with, which I'm not certain we're meant to believe he did. The rest of his choices were decent, although I question why Pikachu was capable of battling while Goukazaru, Mukuhawk, and the others on his main DP team were apparently out of commission. In general however, Takuto outclassed Satoshi in almost all respects.
 

PokemonBattleFanatic-

Well-Known Member
Had Ash used CISPSH he would've taken out more than 2 of Tobias's team but still end up losing.Tobias was Ash's roadblock,the writers couldn't come up with a legitimate enough opponent for Ash this time around like in the previous leagues (Harrison)(Tyson) because Ash pretty much defeated them at the Sinnoh League (Paul).So they had to break the rules.
 

Red and Blue

Well-Known Member
I really have no issues with the battle itself. Yeah Ash could of probably picked better than Gible or Torkoal but he was going to lose no matter what he picked.

And he still went out on a high note since he was the only trainer in Tobias' run to beat his Darkrai and tie with his Latios. Not even the actual runner up accomplished that
 

Shadao

Champion GETTO DA ZE!
Lately i watched again the episode of Ash battling Tobias after many years, the topic itself might feel like a broken recorder from time to time, however i wanna ask people about their opinion about this battle from when this first aired to this day and what do you guys consider went wrong in this battle? Is it Tobias? Is it just how very little we know about him? What feelings gave you watching this for the first time? Was it justified the way Ash was curvestomped?

Share your thoughts about this controversial league episode

The problem is less about Ash losing the League and more of the fact they couldn't figure out how to believably make Ash lose the League. After the final battle with Paul, virtually nothing was going to top it.

When you look at the Johto League in comparison, you will notice that they had two back-to-back 6 vs 6 battles. First against Gary, the second against Harrison. Gary was obviously going to be the more iconic of the two, so Harrison had to be built up from ground up in order for him to feel like a worthy successor to Gary's rivalry (in terms of the League).

But looking at the Sinnoh League, there was only one 6 vs 6 battle and that was Ash vs Paul. And that battle was three episodes long. In comparison, Gary and Harrison's battles were about two episodes long each. And if we combine them together, that's 4 episodes with is the same as Paul and Tobias' battles combined. And then we have the fact that there are two episodes left before DP ends, which is the same amount of episodes left in the Johto series.

So when Paul took up 3 episodes instead of 2, this placed the showrunners in a pickle. Ash's adventure in Sinnoh is ending, but they couldn't make Ash lose in one episode after such an impressive showing, and clearly they didn't have to time to dive into the implications of Ash winning the League and challenging the Sinnoh Elite Four. So how does one make Ash lose in one episode without compromising his battle with Paul?

Bring in a trainer with Legendaries and Mythicals. And make him so unbeatable that even taking out his Darkrai is an achievement unto itself. Heck, it says something when Ash is stated to be the only trainer in the whole League Conference to take out Darkrai, let alone a Latios.

But really, in hindsight, it would have been better if they had trimmed the fat of filler that DP has. I mean, they had a lot of important story-driven episodes, but a lot of it could have been cut and instead be used to build up a better League conclusion. Like, instead of having Ash slowly make his way up to the top, rank by rank, he and Paul end up in the finals. Their battle is the final battle that would determine not only the Sinnoh League Victor, but also who is right in the end. Because if their battle cannot be topped, it might as well be the final battle of the series.
 

Rune Knight

Well-Known Member
Supposedly, the League Winner is meant to get a chance to challenge the region's Champion.

Do you think that the fact that Cynthia is still Sinnoh's Champion implies that she managed to defeat Tobias' team of illegal mons? Or that maybe he decided not to take her on? Or what I proposed is actually not the case?
 

Zero1999

Well-Known Member
Supposedly, the League Winner is meant to get a chance to challenge the region's Champion.

Do you think that the fact that Cynthia is still Sinnoh's Champion implies that she managed to defeat Tobias' team of illegal mons? Or that maybe he decided not to take her on? Or what I proposed is actually not the case?
After the writters made Tobias win, they just never acknowledge him, never. I believe Tobias might never fought her, but he’s a weird case because we don’t even know what other pokemon he has and there’s a chance Tobias is fully aware of Cynthia’s lineup, let alone that he might have other legendaries in his pocket.

The guy was literally Jiren in the Pokemon universe, he was nothing but a power wall to overcome with the difference that our protagonist has no way to go through, Tobias was a killer Deus Ex Machina in the cheapest way
 

PokemonBattleFanatic-

Well-Known Member
The guy was literally Jiren in the Pokemon universe, he was nothing but a power wall to overcome with the difference that our protagonist has no way to go through, Tobias was a killer Deus Ex Machina in the cheapest way
That's funny because I said that Alain was the Jiren of Pokemon anime because of how OP his MCX is.People have literally power scaled it from E4 Level to Base Champion level.
 

Zero1999

Well-Known Member
That's funny because I said that Alain was the Jiren of Pokemon anime because of how OP his MCX is.People have literally power scaled it from E4 Level to Base Champion level.
Yeah, i see why, though he felt like Jiren once he was in XYZ, in the Mega Evolution specials he was curvestomped by Siebold and the Hoenn Trio.

Honorable mentions go to Steve Stone even through the battle was never finished (Steven seemed pretty well despite the disadvantage) and Malva almost got him on the ropes. The guy might be close or below an E4 because only his Charizard managed to hold its own against the aces of the Kalos E4, but as we know E4 memebers other Pokemon must be pretty tough

At least we got to see Alain through his journey, unlike Tobias, whom appeared 1 or 2 episodes with the purpose of being the Great Wall of China for our protagonist with no way to even get past him.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
I think that part of the problem was how Tobias literally came out of nowhere and was so strong. There should have been some sort of little hints of his existence that could easily hide the fact he has Legendary Pokémon if they wanted to keep it a surprise. Something along the likes of Barry telling Ash that he heard rumors of some Trainer that is supposedly really strong and defeating Gym Leaders with ease within that year long filler gap and Ash brushes it off as nothing. Or even Paul telling Ash about the rumor and how he would rather battle this mysterious Trainer anyday than Ash because then he’d have a challenge for once.
 

PokemonBattleFanatic-

Well-Known Member
The Sinnoh League was the perfect time for Ash to finally win,he became more focused as a trainer than ever before thanks to his rivalry with Paul.He had a pretty well rounded team,met all of the E4 members and the champion Cynthia.Tobias really shouldn't have existed,it should've been Ash & Paul in the finals because up until Tobias first appeared Paul was Ash's strongest opponent as far as regular trainers go.And when you take away Legendary pokemon,Mega Evolution,Z-Move and Dynamax Ash & Paul are the top echelon for regular trainers in the pokemon anime due to their experience,skill level and large pool of powerhouses at their disposal.
 

Blastmaster

Well-Known Member
I mean honestly, I do have this odd respect for how they clearly knew there was no way they could ever legitimately top Paul, so they just went out in the most ridiculous way they could think of. I really don't even think it's a matter of pacing. There's just no loss that could've possibly been satisfying after Paul, so they didn't try to make one.

Like some people already said, it was pretty much the writers' way of admitting that Ash was finally good enough to win, but just wasn't allowed to. In an ideal world? Yeah, I would've much preferred Ash beat Paul in the finals and been replaced for BW. But since that obviously wasn't allowed at the time, I'm actually pretty forgiving of the battle for what it is. If nothing else, it takes some kind of talent to make losing 6-2 look cool as hell.

So no, it wasn't justified at all, but I really do think it's the best way he could've lost Sinnoh.
 

thedarkdragon11

P4P Elite
I think Tobias just turned out as the characterization of the writers failing and lack of creativity at that time... They don't want Paul beat Ash again and they don't want Ash to win the league (things they were forced to do in the later series when they were caught in the same situation)... The writers just messed up at that point up until they "found out" that Ash can do a greater quest...
 

Zero1999

Well-Known Member
I mean honestly, I do have this odd respect for how they clearly knew there was no way they could ever legitimately top Paul, so they just went out in the most ridiculous way they could think of. I really don't even think it's a matter of pacing. There's just no loss that could've possibly been satisfying after Paul, so they didn't try to make one.

Like some people already said, it was pretty much the writers' way of admitting that Ash was finally good enough to win, but just wasn't allowed to. In an ideal world? Yeah, I would've much preferred Ash beat Paul in the finals and been replaced for BW. But since that obviously wasn't allowed at the time, I'm actually pretty forgiving of the battle for what it is. If nothing else, it takes some kind of talent to make losing 6-2 look cool as hell.

So no, it wasn't justified at all, but I really do think it's the best way he could've lost Sinnoh.
Paul vs Ash was the best battle of the Sinnoh hands down, their rivalry just went in my opinion further than Ash's rivalry with Gary, it was a battle of ideals and in 3 episodes they gave us a lots of tension because we just could never assure who was going to win, Paul is a competitive player in the Pokemon world that really knew his stuff and his methods of training his pokemon were effective but harsh for his pokemon and Ash is self-explicatory when it comes to how he treats his pokemon.

It's just, the battle was great but maybe came to the fact that no other battle could top this one, when Tobias came with his Darkrai, we knew this guy was gonna be a road roller against Ash, there's the archivement that he defeated his Darkrai which really didn't matter much few minutes later because the guy pulled up a Latios, heck why the guy was given the nickname the first uber noob in the anime, it was at this point that the writters wanted really, really bad for Ash to go back to Pallet Town, he was not given the chance to fully demostrate his abilities using his best Pokemon in this battle, Sinnoh Ash was the highest point he's ever come as a trainer and it showed, but gave us the most desperate way for him to be gone

In short: The way he lost was not really convincing, whenever i look at past Leagues, no random dude with legendaries is ever there to stop the main protagonist for archieving one of his goals, casually Tobias only appeared when Ash was doing extremelly well and in his prime during that era, all that just for the guy to vanish from the face of the earth.
 

PokemonBattleFanatic-

Well-Known Member
Having a Harrison/Tyson type of opponent for Ash at the Sinnoh League wouldn't have worked because Ash at that point had exceeded them in both skill & power.He had a stronger team than he ever did in Johto/Hoenn,used vast majority of his reserves and defeated the likes of Paul.So yeah the way he lost left a sour taste in people's mouths but it was really the only option to keep Ash from winning.
 
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