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Companion Pokémon: Downfall?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by KingMinun, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. KingMinun

    KingMinun Dawn/Sinnoh Fan!

    So I’ve been thinking lately, how much I used to be invested in the pokemon that Ash’s friends would capture throughout the course of the series.

    And it’s made me realise how much more I liked the character because they were actively obtaining Pokémon, and how little I am invested in the characters because of the little team changes they receive these days.

    Take Misty, May and Dawn for example, I invested more in these characters because of the fact that they would actively capture Pokémon, all 3 had full teams by the end of their journey with Ash, and Brock, although never had a full team, each series that he stayed on for he ended up getting Pokémon. Compare this to the new series, Iris having 4 team changes, Cilan having 3, Serena having 4, Clemont having 3, and then the current cast having 4 team changes between them. This is considerably less than older series and is a lot more noticeable in the current series with the most Pokémon a character owning is 2.

    Do you feel like you invest more if the character is capturing Pokémon more on a regular basis? And by team change I mean capture, and evolution after their debut episode.
  2. Ignition

    Ignition Champion SZN

    Yes. It was always nice to see a steadily growing team when the gang sounds out their Pokémon. Although some Pokémon like Starmie got the short end of the stick, seeing them in general made me happy. My favorite episodes are where all the Pokémon get to interact. Nowadays, you see the same Pokémon but since the overall teams barely change (especially in evolution), it gets boring. And, honestly, since gen 5, I don't think there's a single companion Pokémon that had an interesting quirks for me to actively invest them. I only like Pokémon like Pansage, Pancham, Luxray (rip any development), Steenee, & Marowak are because they're personal favorites. They have their moments, sure, but it'd be better with more team changes.
    PorcelainVulpix likes this.
  3. AznKei

    AznKei Badass girls saving their boyfriends. XD

    Yes. I would like to see the companions having more team changes, along with goals that have intense rivalries to keep them busy, instead of having them staying in the background.

    But I'm really doubtful the producers/writers would really deliver them nowadays, seeing that they rather focus on Ash more than everyone else.
    LilligantLewis and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  4. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    Doesn't matter much for me. Lillie and Lana are probably my favourite companions so far throughout the series, and both of them have only got one pokémon right now. I'm much more interested in the characters and I think they're doing a good job of letting Lillie grow without just changing her team. Lana does need something new in terms of actual growth, she does get setups towards growth here and there but then it never really gets followed up on.
  5. Pretty much this
  6. You have to remember that the Pokemon themselves are also considered characters in this show. They're not just tools or attachments for the human characters to bring out when the time is right.

    To that end, it makes perfect sense that a larger human cast would have less Pokemon between them. This allows every Pokemon - every character - a chance to appear on screen and actually have a personality. Every time they add a new Pokemon, they're adding a new character to the cast which means splitting the screen time up even further.

    In any case, how many Pokemon a character has doesn't effect my investment in them whatsoever. I appreciate it if one of my favourites finds its way onto the main cast, but I prefer to have a small number with fun personalities than a large number where around half are just forgettable outside of their battling capability.
  7. Jeal

    Jeal Well-Known Member

    It was obvious from the beginning that the classmates would have few pokemon. Let's see: Six pokemon from Ash, and three of each classmate(at least). 21 pokemon in the main cast. The past cast had 12 pokemon.
  8. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    This. While I think it's a shame that SM isn't changing up teams up, I DO appreciate that the Pokemon feel a lot less like commodities and servants in this series and are more characters. They're seldom in their Pokeballs in fact.

    While the additions are limited, I do also like the greater weight to them because of this. ALL the Pokemon in the group welcomed Snowy when she was born, treating her birth like a major introduction, and Marowak, Charjabug and all of Ash's team feel like proper adopted family members, not something to tick off the trainers' list. There's always at least one member of Ash's team in other series that lacks a personality or doesn't really hang out with the others, but here they all feel together and bounce off of each other, even the ones that are evolving and maturing like Torracat and Lycanroc.

    I think SM would have worked if they had the same number Pokemon with a smaller amount of trainers like the usual three or four. Not only would this have helped each trainer feel more dynamic with more captures, but I think some of the more lacking Pokemon would have been assisted from being put together in teams and having chemistries with each other (Popplio and Steenee are losing out in terms of character appeal compared to the others, even secondaries like Marowak and Charjabug, and I think it's because, not only are there too many trainers to juggle involvement with, but that they lack 'siblings' to interact with).

    When people bring up Misty and Brock's teams, I'm kinda apathetic, since besides one or two comic relief, most of them were bland and only used on sporadic occasions, again just something to add to their check list. Anyone remember Goldeen or Starmie hanging out with the others or even having much of a personality? Neither of them were that useful either. There's no point giving the trainer more Pokemon if they don't assist in character agency or development in any way.

    I think SM was a bit of a step forward step back in terms of character moderation, it did actually pinpoint a decent amount of characters they could get okay roles and interactions from and moderated their Pokemon accordingly, but then added too many excess ones that tilted the scales both in terms of limelight and Pokemon captures.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  9. Akkipeddi

    Akkipeddi Gold Experience

    While a character actively catching a lot of Pokémon is nice to see, it doesn't affect my interest in said characters. Like in Serena's case, she might have caught only three Pokémon, but I loved the closeness and relationship that Serena had with her Braixen, Pancham and Eevee.
  10. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    Similarly evolving Eevee just ended up ruining the dynamic, due to the diluting her personality and screen time (likely due to how more complicated Sylveon is to draw) and Serena barely interacting with her anymore.
  11. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I've rarely been invested in the teams of Satoshi's friends, so I can't say that their Pokemon hold any real significance to me. However, I feel like SM in particular has wasted many opportunities to grow the cast's teams. Just look at Mao and Suiren.
  12. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Misty and Brock really should have only had 3 pokemon for the OS too. Thinking back to it I never understood why they had so many pokemon but they barely battled or used them as we would hardly see them in any of the episodes.

    Misty's team could have just been Staryu, Togepi and Psyduck for Kanto/Orange. And then add in maybe Poliwag/Whirl/Toed in Johto. She did not need more than that. For Brock, just Geodude/Onix and then Crobat. Even his Vulpix only appeared in like 2 episodes outside it's capture and goodbye episode.

    Honestly most of the time watching the OS you'd forget Misty/Brock even had pokemon in a lot of the episodes.
  13. AznKei

    AznKei Badass girls saving their boyfriends. XD

    My top 3 Pokemons for Misty are Psyduck, Staryu & Gyarados, even before they're shown in Misty's 1st SM cameo. Staryu & Psyduck were shown occasionally back in OS, while Gyarados is the powerhouse of her team.
    Jerimiyah likes this.
  14. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Yeah, but she doesn't get Gyarados until AG, she wouldn't have gotten it as a main character as it'd make her too powerful.
  15. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    But then her Gym match with Satoshi would've been a mere one-on-one had she not owned Starmie. I didn't mind her having so many Pokemon at first though, I just felt that the writers mishandled Kasumi's team once she got Togepy.
    Jerimiyah likes this.
  16. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    Have Starmie just remain at the Gym from the start then, there was no reason to bring it with her. She clearly favored Staryu. Between Psyduck being used for humor and Togepi being the GS advertisement it was, Misty really had no use for any other pokemon besides Staryu for the small amount of battles she had at the time. Then she could have gotten Poliwag as usual and evolve it in Johto, that was it.

    Misty has like 10 pokemon, how many of them actually got any proper focus? The lack of battles in the OS didn't help of course.
  17. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    She does have a lot of reserve Pokemon, although I've let that slide since she's a Gym Leader and has a need for variety. I'm mad that Gyarados became her new ace starting in AG, however.
  18. Kintaro

    Kintaro Banned

    But she doesn't have reserve pokemon, she doesn't use Horsea in battle, she just got an Azurill and Luvdisc in AG that disappeared after one episode and never used again. Gyarados just replaced her entire original team.
  19. LilligantLewis

    LilligantLewis primarina donna

    they mishandled her whole character once she got Togepi, as Dodgemaster Tim has constantly reminded us over the years.


    .........that's what happens once you've left the show. She wasn't even a main character anymore so it's not surprising it only appeared one episode and never used again. What about Iris's Gible? What about Dawn's Quilava? That's just par for the course after you've already left the show.
  20. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    The problem is that Psyduck and Gyarados are the two most memorable of Misty's Pokemon due to being the ones most integral to her actual character and development. The rest barely had a personality or bond with her besides Togepi who is now gone, so it makes sense those two were chosen for the return arcs.

    Brock's Geodude and Steelix were more surprising though I guess made sense given their links to the games (and SM did try to compensate and give them SOME personality after all these years). I guess it would have been harder with Misty's team since Staryu and Starmie lack any form of expressions.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018

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