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Do you enjoy the direction Pokemon Sun and Moon anime is moving in?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Ariki, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Ariki

    Ariki Well-Known Member

    So I recently just binge watched the first season of the Pokemon Sun and Moon anime on Netflix.

    I was expecting it to be a complete flop; I’d given up on the Pokemon anime years ago because it became stale and formulaic. With the drastic change in character design with Ash and the fact he was going to school and not going to journey across Alola for the island trial challenge, I was convinced I’d probably stop watching the anime about 10 episodes in.

    I. Was. Wrong.

    I absolutely love the Pokemon Sun and Moon anime. The music is on point, and the new art style allows for so much more expression. I am currently watching Pokemon X and Y on Netflix and while I’m only nine episodes in, it feels quite labourious to watch. The dynamic and pacing of the story telling and the characterisation in Sun and Moon is far superior over (so far) over that found in X and Y. I am hoping that when I get to X, Y, Z I’ll be enjoying Ash’ adventure in Kalos more.

    I’ll be watching X and Y while I’m doing other things (like catching the bus somewhere, or riding an exercise bike) so I know I’ll get through it...but does anyone else feel the same way that I do? Or am a lone fan of the Pokemon Sun and Moon anime and the current direction it is going in?
  2. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I also really enjoy the SuMo anime! I initially watched the first episode when it first aired in Japan and absolutely hated it. I hated the art style, I hated Ash's personality, I hated it all. Recently I was bored and put it on in the background while I was drawing and I ended up watching like 50 episodes.

    I'm a big fan now and though I think a few things are... Odd... To say the least (the trial captains not being captains, Lusamine being a COMPLETELY different character, Kukui and Burnet not being married at the start), I still think it's a good story overall. I actually enjoy the captains' personalities in the anime whereas in the games I either didn't care about or just straight up hated most of them in the games. Kiawe and Lana especially have redeemed themselves.

    X and Y kinda... bugged me a lot. Serena not having a goal for like 30 episodes, Clemont having no real reason to stay with Ash after their gym battle, and Bonnie being here... At all... All felt like everything was just plot convenience. Like no one had any reason, apart from Ash, to be traveling. I never watched XYZ because none of the characters really hooked me enough to follow them all the way through.

    I'll probably be watching all of SuMo at my own pace. Currently up to where Ilima is hanging around... His characterisation is SUPER weird to me. Not how I pictured him at all based on the games.
  3. Ariki

    Ariki Well-Known Member

    Oh dear! That description of X and Y doesn’t give me much hope of it getting much better then.

    I’m currently up to episode 55 of the Pokemon Sun and Moon anime. I’m really hooked! I agree that the trial captains not being trial captains is weird, but I do like how much freedom the writers have embraced in giving each one on a distinct personality. I also like that the entire group doesn’t turn up in every single episode - it’s only having them on screen when it’s relevant to the story.
    LilligantLewis and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  4. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    Yeah a larger cast with more character focused stories really lends itself to this sort of anime! I also like that it's not just Ash getting Z-crystals. Makes me kinda want a character with similar goals to Ash in the next series.

    X and Y is... Fine. At least it's pretty.
    Ariki and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  5. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    It's great. Earlier on they still had to get a bit used to the new setting but after a couple of episodes it really started getting good. It has its downsides and it drops the ball at times, but it has a kind of charm to it that earlier series didn't have. Pokémon usually being out of their balls (as opposed to only Pikachu/Togepi/Piplup/Axew/Dedenne, so Pikachu + 1) gives them more character. Stuff like this:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    just gives so much charm to them.

    Trial captains not being in the anime doesn't concern me. The Kahunas usually fill that role quite nicely anyway and it gives them a bit more freedom to deviate from the games, also keeping things less predictable while still paying respect to the Island Trials. The games completely botched Flying, Ice, Psychic, Bug, and Poison Z-Crystals for instance (and Fairy in SuMo), and I'd hate to see that repeated in the anime where it's even less necessary than in the games.
    Ariki and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  6. lolipiece

    lolipiece Ya did good, Twerp. Staff Member Moderator

    It's pretty good. While I feel that a lot of the criticisms of SM end up coming across as complaining for the sake of complaining, I will admit the show is not without fault.

    That being said, it's pretty enjoyable. The characters (side and main) are likeable even if a bit underutilized, the Pokemon pretty fun to watch and it's such a joy to see them out of their Poke Balls a majority of the time, and it's really fun to see little moments in the show get referenced in later episodes.

    I don't love every episode, but every episode does at least give me a moment or two that I enjoy. And that's good enough for me.

    I actually liked XY (for the most part), but I'm not gonna judge SM for not being like XY when it's not trying to be.
    Zhydra, i2i, Alola Adventurer and 3 others like this.
  7. Ignition

    Ignition Incineroar wins yet again (proud of my son)

    Meh, it's ok. We've had this discussion countless times but my main gripe with SM is the inconsistent pacing (takes forever to get plot progression or development but yet they speed through major arcs). Otherwise the world building is phenomenal. Not my favorite but not something I hate
  8. UltimateNinja

    UltimateNinja ~Ice Cold~

    This may sound a bit ranty and I wasn't even one of those people who hated SM because of the new artstyle, but oh boy...

    The start of SM was meh, the AF arc and some stuff after it was decent, but now it once again became boring again and the lack of battles through the series, confrontations or actual plot going on for more than a handful of episodes is the reason I can't stand the direction the SM anime is going. The characters are okay, but now it seems like they're already done with the most of them, the evil team arcs are mediocre, the amount of development the Pokemon get (new moves, evolution, spotlight etc.) compared to other series is also only "okay"-ish despite Rowlet getting it's first real spotlight episode 97 episodes in the series.

    Is it as bad as Johto? No, for that the rest of SM episodes need to be filler. Is it as bad as BW? Not really since there was at least some good development episodes for the characters and as of now there wasn't any bullshit like Elese gym battle or the battle against Cameron.

    But looking back at the past 95 episodes, there wasn't a single time where I was hooked to watch the series while all of the past series had one. There's hope for the league though.
  9. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    I do empathise with some long term fans' woes with the series (eg. the stagnant teams, the erratic pacing, the less than brilliant adaptation of the games story) but at the same time, compared to previous series, despite SM's flaws, I still find myself enjoying it for the most part. It has remembered, regardless of whether big plots or moments of development are going on, to primarily and constantly try to be FUN. The fillers aren't bland and repetitive, the protagonists can drive plots without constantly needing plot devices or side characters like Team Rocket, the Pokemon have personalities, the animation makes the characters incredibly expressive. It's not highly developed and well knit but it is entertaining, which I couldn't always say for even the more tightly written series.

    I will say I hope the next series moderates the ideas and tries to give them more substance, but it DEFINITELY shouldn't wipe away every new idea it's tried, since SM has definitely tried to rectify a few long term flaws with the show. It's added a couple new ones I'll admit, but let's be fair, there was already loads of cases where the games arcs were badly adapted, or one or two of the companions were background characters, or certain settings in the games were underused in favour of generic forest and city backdrops. At least SM is trying to pillow those issues with something unique and entertaining.
  10. Overall, I've enjoyed Sun and Moon up to this point, but as with most seasons of Pokemon, my interest has wavered the longer the series has gone on. It's not because of any one thing in particular. It's just that SM is currently in a lull of mildly entertaining episodes following the conclusion of a major arc, and as much I enjoy the show's sense of humour and laidback feel, there's only so long you can go without something significant happening.

    Still, this is something that every season suffers from. Pokemon's a long show and inevitably there are periods where the pacing turns sluggish and it feels like not an awful lot is happening. It's just a matter of waiting until things pick up again (which, looking at the upcoming episodes, will happen soon).

    I appreciate that Sun and Moon has tried different things. Not everything has come off, and the execution in some places has been a bit weak, but it's broken free of the formulas and traditions that were burdening the show.

    For example, there are very few "characters of the day". The majority of characters are recurring, so you can get to know them better and even form attachments to them. I think this a lot better than the "one and done" characters they had before, who were mostly forgettable and served only as plot devices. They can do this because Ash stays in one place most of the time. It's very easy to pull a character from the stable they have and craft an episode around them.

    On the other hand, I think some of those episodes could have focused more on those characters than they did. Having a recurring cast is great, but it should be an opportunity to learn more about them. Which is why I say that the ideas are good, but are sometimes let down in execution.

    That all said, SM has been more to my taste than recent seasons have been, so I don't have that many complaints.
  11. ash&charizardfan

    ash&charizardfan Humanity's greatest soldier

    I think SM is pretty good series, i think this series has tried some new things and it has worked which is good, but they should concentrate on companions except lana, mallow and sophocles getting some character development instead of fillers and maybe have more frequent battles.
    Pokegirl Fan~ likes this.
  12. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    That is probably the biggest problem with SM, it's experimenting with loads of new ideas, but lacks enough direction for many of them. This tends to be true with some previous series, as there's usually one that takes experiments and is resultantly a bit erratic while the one after refines and develops on them (if usually falling back onto the old formula more).
  13. Pokegirl Fan~

    Pokegirl Fan~ Tsundere Girl

    Yes I am enjoying the direction SM is moving in. There are some things that could be worked on like the focus and screentime of some companions and more battles. I definitely enjoy it more than the past 2 series though.
  14. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    To add to this, I think a difference with SM is that it tries to give the 'in between' filler more entertainment value. I think a large problem with previous series was that, often whenever there wasn't some key development or plot going on, things tended to get dull fast. We'd meet another COTD that we don't really have the time to get attached to or TR would get their ass kicked the exact same way they always do. Ash became famed as being a good tint of vanilla, when he wasn't dragged into the main story or using his team dynamically, he actually tended to be rather boring.

    In this series they make far more use of the filler to showcase the cast's actual personalities uninterrupted. In some cases they can be used more satisfyingly than the development parts because they make more use of the characters as they are, eg. a new Pokemon is caught or evolves/learns a new move, but then they get a few fillers showcasing how that changes up the dynamic. I could argue this would be more fulfilling if SM actually did more change ups in the first place but it at least gets the right idea of actually taking what the cast get and use it to boost their agency and appeal as characters in normal stories.

    I also appreciate this is a series where most of the cast aren't as reliant on them getting things or events happening around them to look remarkable. Outside forces rather than themselves. Even in spite of their usual hand outs like a Z Ring from the deities themselves, Ash and his team seem to be trying to put up way more of a performance and prove they're characters worthy of using these things in a unique and entertaining way and even help branch out the rest of the show.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  15. blizzardblaze

    blizzardblaze Comp. Battler Who loves The Anime

    It's an alright series. while I preferred XY and other series over it, the direction it took us in was fine. my main problems is the pacing and how rushed they made the different island arcs as well as the aether and necrozma arc just so we could get back to...melemele island. it was interesting at first but when you're at the same place for so long, it gets really boring, especially with some of those really dull fillers. some are good though, but not all were...yeah. also doesn't help that comedy is forced at times, but it does bring a laugh to me sometimes. OS does the best in that department though
    Pokegirl Fan~ and Dragalge like this.
  16. Dragalge

    Dragalge Naganadel

    It isn't perfect and I do have my own criticisms such as the pacing, development of a few characters lacking, and the battles not being as good like XY or DP but I, too, appreciate SM for trying something new and being able to at least know what it wants to be unlike BW's mess of ideas. It's not perfectly executed of course but I will give credit to SM and XY for being able to establish their own unique identities which I hope can continue with the next series (a mix would be very ideal). Pokemon-wise, there's a lot of them that I can like to where even the fully evolved Pokemon like Lycanroc are very fun and likable. And this is the first series where I enjoyed Ash since DP even though his AG incarnation was the best imo.

    For the next series, keep the experimentation of SM while also blending in XY's great battles (and Ash's competence of course. Ash may be more susceptible to slapstick but at least he wasn't reset this time which I'm sure everyone is glad about!). Hopefully SM's third year can help end the series on a somewhat positive note.
    Pokegirl Fan~ likes this.
  17. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    No, I don't enjoy the direction SM has moved in at all, and not because I'm one of those people who disliked it from the beginning.

    In fact, I enjoyed the first 21 episodes. The humor was well-placed, and the story was heartfelt. Post-21 it took a dive off a cliff, at least writing-wise. Animation-wise, no one can argue how much it's improved, but I believe it's misused. That's not the overall reason I dislike it, though. I'm no animation buff and don't pretend to be, but I do write and I know how to analyze writing.

    So, when it comes down to it, there's one word that I feel sums up SM perfectly: inconsistency.

    Inconsistency to past series. Inconsistency to its own characters. Inconsistency to its pacing. Inconsistency between intent and portrayal.

    I'll sum it up what I mean in the easiest way possible, and a lot of that comes down to what the series decided to do: stay in one place. Inherently, this isn't a bad decision. The problem is that they didn't work for it.

    Ash isn't the type of character who sits around, but is now content with it. Ash isn't a character who does school, but now he is. The anime never took the time to explain to us why this was necessary for him. It was necessary for them, in order to tell a more slice-of-life story, except Ash has been around long before then, and now he feels like a completely different character because they've outright removed his wanderlust without giving us any justification as to why. This is no more evident than in Ula'ula, where Ash acted understanding one episode and fearful the next; coming from the same character that showed no fear with the more violent Chimchar. Had they built up an actual reason to have Ash stay here, however, I think the series as a whole would make more sense and mitigate a lot of the inconsistency.

    But that's only one of the problems that comes with the stationary setting. The other is that pacing is arbitrary and progression is arbitrary; inconsistency. Ash only goes to take the trials when the plot tells him it's time. Of course, one could argue that in the last series it was the same, but there was still a sense of forward progression because they were moving towards a location. Not so, here, and it makes Ash seem lazier for it. Not only that, but as a result, plot points just come out of nowhere and happen. Rarely is there any buildup, a buildup that can at least be eschewed and explained away in previous series by it not happening because Ash and company need to arrive first. It makes Melemele, the smallest island in the games, feel like a City of Adventure, while every other island has jack going on.

    This arbitrary and inconsistent measure of progress impacts the characters, too. Lana and Kiawe are by far the most developed but receive little screentime, and Kiawe himself is inconsistently portrayed whether they need a stoic, spiritual badass or a goofy, over-the-top caricature. Sophocles and Mallow are sadly pushed to the side (though Sophocles can at least hold his own episodes). And Lillie...well, she's the ultimate version of fake development whose story was clearly intended to have us sympathize with her but fell flat thanks to Lusamine's vastly more sympathetic portrayal. Not to mention Lillie hasn't even changed in character at all, other than touching Pokemon (something she didn't even work for outside of a few instances that were negated) but continues to be pushed as the most important classmate.

    By making the one decision to stay in a single location, it affected everything across the board because the writers clearly didn't know how to handle it or justify it.

    It really comes down to this: SM can be enjoyable, but that doesn't mean it's good. Or even if it is good as an anime, it's not good as a Pokemon anime. Because it stripped away the adventure and the wanderlust and replaced it with 2D Pokemon, poor foreshadowing, large plot events that feel like filler when all is said and done, characters that are stuck for 50+ episodes and pop culture/anime references that never populated the series to this extent.

    TL;DR Sun and Moon doesn't feel like a Pokemon series and is inconsistent with everything that came before it, so I can't enjoy it.
  18. NO WAY. Comedy ok. But to much comedy? Alola feels so small. Now will they suddenly give Rowlet focus after the only focus episode was his capture. TR is the only thing I like about SM.
    Kaye Cruiser, LilligantLewis and SH65 like this.
  19. Mizz Nikki

    Mizz Nikki Operations Director

    Personally, yes I do. I enjoy SM so much, not as much as DP or XY, but I still do enjoy it. I appreciate the fact that they tried something new and I personally think it’s paying off.
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  20. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    It's the past series that overused the same jokes over and over and over again. The gang enters a pokémon centre? Brock is there to be a creep to Nurse Joy and then be dragged away by Misty/Max/Croagunk. Meet a girl character of the day? Same joke. Meet Officer Jenny? Same joke. Meet female gym leader? Same joke. Clemont has a new invention that he just happens to have for this exact situation? "Science is so amazing!" Oh wait it blew up. You can't accuse SM of lacking comedic originality compared to the old series.
    Zhydra, lolipiece and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.

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