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Do you like how the anime treated the Trial Captains?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Ignition, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Ignition

    Ignition Incineroar wins yet again (proud of my son)

    As we all know, the SM anime does not have any Trial Captains: the characters themselves exist but their roles in the overarching narrative is different.

    Since today's episode debuted the last TC in Mina, I noticed how there was a noticeable difference in how they were handled.

    For instance, Kiawe (my favorite trial capatin both in game and in the anime) has such a good character in the show
    He's a hard worker who's very passionate about anything he participates in. This is shown slightly in game where he has a lot of drive during the trial and his side "quest" where he's fired from his job. Hell, most of his artwork has him looking hyped. But the show shows how much he values his family/culture. He always wants to protect his sister, and he values the sacred nature of Z Moves thanks to his grandfather. We would have never learned this as he's just a supporting character in game.

    However, I know some people aren't fans of this. They feel they should stick as side characters and have the anime star Ash, Lillie, and maybe Hau.

    I'm curious as to how people feel about these Trainers and how they felt they should've been handled (you can discuss them specifically or all of them in general)
    LilligantLewis likes this.
  2. AznKei

    AznKei Competing against players in Match Masters. XD

    I feel them like how I feel for the gym leaders in the past series. I think they have more personalities than in the games, but they're not as well handled compared to Ash and the main Pokegirls, either they stay in the background if they're companions or we only see them in a few episodes.
  3. Zoruagible

    Zoruagible Lover of underrated characters

    The anime ruined Ilima for me, I was always neutral about the character but the anime made me hate his guts. He reminds me of those shitty fics where every female wants to sleep with the main lead.

    As for the main trial captains, I'm not satisfied. Took WAY too long for Mallow to start getting treated right, and in most episodes they just sit there and do nothing if the episode's not about them. Similar to the third wheel, only quadrupled! All it did was make me hope Ash only gets one traveling companion next series, I'd rather have one good fully constructed trainer with a full team, or almost a full team.... rather than 5 trainers who'll likely not get more than two Pokemon a piece and barely get to actually use them.

    And they don't use Acerola as much as they should.
    Twilight-Kun and JC317 like this.
  4. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    Mixed bag. I think some of them stick out the best as characters compared to some previous companions, though admittedly many are limited as trainers. Progression is slow this series, but they have used the slower pace to develop character agency and personality for some of them more than usual for the anime. SOME of them....

    Kiawe is probably the best male companion the show has had so far, even if his central limelight is kinda limited. Still he is regularly involved, has palpable motives, he is a decent mix of competent mentor/rival and comic relief and both his Pokemon are fun to watch.

    Sophocles has fun episodes, even if his two Pokemon are almost stagnant they are quite likeable and not completely useless. I feel they could have done more with his 'smart guy'/inventor role but he works well off Ash. Similar to Lillie I like seeing a character that can help out in ways besides battling and raw power and his comic relief is okay.

    Lana feels kinda forgettable, sticking in the background too often and not really having ongoing chemistries with Ash or any of the others. Her bond with Popplio is okay and she has bothered to boost it a little, but both of them just don't do enough to stick out unless it's their limelight episode.

    Mallow is....bland. Almost none of her episodes set up much development or character agency, being stuck in the same third wheel formula they used years ago with thrashing jobbers and Team Rocket for scout points, and her supporting roles are even weaker. Tsareena feels more suited to being a gag mon that occasionally inconveniences the main cast over one of the leads that is meant to be likeable in any way, right now she doesn't do much besides abusing things for gags.

    Ilima was harmless I guess, pretty much just a one note ace. His mellowness made him a funny opponent for Team Skull however. It's funny the Normal type captain and his Pokemon should be such a teaspoon of bland, but unlike Mallow he's at least a minor character.

    Acerola is sweet enough, a cute mischievous little sister type, though I get the feeling she'd suffer the same issue as Lana if she weren't a minor character. Almost no limelight as a trainer either. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of her and Mimi-tan.

    Mina's only had one episode and not a lot of time to shine. She seems okay, I hope they go more all out with her scatterbrained hippy character like in the games though.

    I admit a recurring problem with ALL of them (as well as Lillie) is that they maybe feel too much like second banana to Ash, while previous series did at least even limelight out a bit better. Still the ones that are handled well do make their limelight count, just they could do with a bit more trainer progression.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  5. Leonhart

    Leonhart Banned

    None of them have impressed me. Ilima in particular was dreadful since he was essentially a celebrity cameo. I wish more had been done with the captains overall, but SM had other priorities.
  6. satopi

    satopi SM Ash is best Ash! All hail Champion Ash!

    So far yes. I do wish Mallow got more focus or shown to be of good use like she was in the early episodes.

    (I haven't played the Sun and Moon games to know what they were like in there.)

    EDIT: @Ignition , you spelled captains wrong in the title.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  7. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    I do like how they are among the few companions competing with Ash's Pokemon for chemistry with him. One thing I didn't really like in some previous series was how formal and unaffectionate Ash's relationships with the human cast sometimes were, while in SM, there's a greater feel of family and support. Even in just the titles we often have glimpses of the captains and Lillie all being there to accompany Ash, and when it's not him, Ash and them helping another one of the main group. The standstill format certainly helps, since it means when one character needs help and comfort, the cast have to go out of their way to give it.
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  8. Ignition

    Ignition Incineroar wins yet again (proud of my son)

    TY for that ^^
    LilligantLewis and satopi like this.
  9. Akkipeddi

    Akkipeddi The Great Seal

    Absolutely not. First of all, I hate how there's no concept of trial captains (even if they were pretty unimportant in the game as well), and instead were demoted to irrelevant classmates. Not only has this made Mallow, Lana and Sophocles unimportant and useless, it has also made the actual trials pretty mediocre as well. Honestly, they should've just done what they did with Acerola, where before every trial, Ash stays with a trial captain for 2 - 3 episodes, interacts with them and then beats the trial. With this, the core group could've just been Ash, Lillie and probably Kiawe, since he could've been like those gym leaders who travel with the group.
  10. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    I do. I love how the anime takes a lot of liberties deviating a bit from the games. They could've kept captains and their pre-made trials, but that'd make Sun and Moon just another formula/travel series just hopping from one gym/frontier facility/trial to the next like we've already seen in nineteen previous seasons. By putting that whole thing a bit more to the back they can focus much more on the characters, fleshing them out, more world building, and actually having fun. I don't mind not having captains, I think the Kahunas can fulfil that role too, and I like the more liberal way the anime does the island challenge, with the Kahunas coming up with appropriate trials for the challengers instead of just having a captain performing a routine. It keeps things fresh and unpredictable. Sure, captains work fine in the game with a pre-made trial, the game protagonist doesn't have a personality anyway, but in the anime there is the option of suiting trials to local events and/or personalities, and I'm glad they're taking that option and taking advantage of it.
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  11. FlygontheRavager

    FlygontheRavager #1 Pokémon Anime Fan!

    Irrelevant? Given that they’re seen in pretty much every episode, I’d say they’re very relevant. They may not all be very fleshed-out characters (Mallow in particular has gotten the short end of the stick), but IMO they don’t particularly need to be, because their personalities are so fun and dynamic. Lana, for example, has grown to be my favorite Pokegirl ever due to her quirky nature.
    Pokegirl Fan~ and satopi like this.
  12. satopi

    satopi SM Ash is best Ash! All hail Champion Ash!

    Well for one, the school was used mainly as a hangout spot and a reason for Ash to stay in Alola. You say irrelevant, useless, and unimportant, meaning that they don't battle as much right? I don't think the core group of Ash-Lillie-Kiawe would even work when there are 2 battlers who not just train together but compete against each other as well which would then make Lillie seem inferior because of her already cautious way of battling and emotional issues as it is. Ash and Kiawe should remain friendly rivals, it's probably why their scenes together are usually skipped because they don't bounce off each other that well.

    As for the other classmates, Mallow is a support character. She fends well when she has to care for someone or are in need, she's not bad alone but her goal is really the one thing that hasn't been the most amusing. I don't see an issue with her not being a battler, her partner Pokémon has been really weak and fragile, not suited for battling until she evolved into Tsareena. Sophocles has some fun episodes centered around him. I think we're just supposed to learn more about the scientific stuff from him and his inventions do come in handy when it's needed so he isn't useless. I highly disagree on Lana. Did you forget how many focus episodes she's had?! It's obvious that they're evolving her bubble dream and trying to make Popplio evolve into it's full evolution. She's a kickass action girl that doesn't have to be front in center all the time. It's already been confirmed at the end of that episode with the Dewpider isn't ready to be with it's partner. I find her episodes to be subtle and not rushed just to get a Pokémon in the moment. I like that she takes her time with things.
  13. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    I think Lana is meant to be a bit of a quirky silent girl that stays in the background in most cases, it makes it more surprising and cool when she does come to the forefront. She is a bit socially awkward, she's shy, she's easily flustered and embarrassed, and she's the kind of character that we haven't really seen in the main cast before. It makes her more interesting to me, and it works because the cast is large enough that she doesn't need to be in the forefront all the time. One of the main advantages of such a large cast is that you can have a wide variety of personalities so that a large portion of your audience often has someone they can identify well with.
    FlygontheRavager and satopi like this.
  14. Slapstick-Olivia

    Slapstick-Olivia Well-Known Member

    Some are handled very good in my eyes. Others not so much.

    Kiawe is by far the best handled of them all. Always part of the action, has a unique design and personality, can be serious and funny at the same time, is some sort of friendly rival towards Ash and we get to see a bit of his family and life style.

    Sophocles is the second best handled of the trial captains in the anime. Has a very unique design, the episodes focusing on him can be really interesting at times, we see a bit of his family and private life and he can be really useful in some episodes. I kinda wish we could see a bit more of him.

    Lana is okay. But a bit underused in the anime. Most of time she stays in the background. The episodes focusing on her can be quite interesting at times and she has an interesting bounding with her two younger sisters. I kinda wish we would see a bit more of the rest of her family. So far her mother seems to be nothing more than another wet fetish dream for Deviantart users.

    Mallow is a complete waste. She doesn't really has a role in the anime and also doesn't has a unique personality or design. Her evolved Pokémon that she owns, who is a bit dominant, seems to be her own really outstanding trade.

    Ilima is a completely forgettable character. Has no real personality, or interesting trades at all. He comes of as a perfect gary stu type of character with no flaws and everybody just loves him.

    Acerola is okay, but we didn't really see that much about her. She comes of more as a helpful NPC rather than her own character.

    Mina only had one episode so far, so we can not really judge her right a head. So far she seems kinda likable and is also a bit more outstanding in terms of design, image and personality compare to other girl characters in the show. But likeI said, we can not really judge her for now.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  15. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    I think the issue with Mallow and Lana is that they're not really immersing like Ash and the other SM companions are, who are all gaining chemistries and fun team work dynamics and other bits of character agency. When you look at group episodes like the Ultra Guardian episodes, they tend to be the ones in the background most of the time, rarely contributing in any unique way.

    Mallow is suffering from this the most, since, in spite of the aforementioned justification that she ISN'T a battler, they don't bother to develop and deviate, she's actually the least likely to have a slice of life bit of limelight and instead insist on having her in some irrelevant competition with Ash and Team Rocket around to pad her screen time and suck horribly so she looks good. She reminds me of previous third wheels like Brock and Serena, who similarly aren't really supposed to be about battling and action, but since they don't really figure out a recurring character agency for them and their Pokemon, they just stick them against TR or other one sided competitions for their quota to make them look relatively cool, which doesn't really develop on what they're meant to be about.

    Popplio is pretty bland, and Tsareena doesn't take my interest at all. You can tell they failed to think up anything for her so just went for the oldest smoke and mirror trick in the book and made her a suave unstoppable evolved mon that Mallow didn't remotely earn or use properly to develop on her own character. What's more she looks like she's starting to turn into this violent little jerk that, unlike Lycanroc or Marowak, her trainer isn't remotely having to discipline or take responsibility for. She is blatantly just there for scout points.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
    Twilight-Kun and blizzardblaze like this.
  16. Leonhart

    Leonhart Banned

    In hindsight, I now wish that Satoshi had met Suiren and Mao during their respective trials from the games instead of at the school. A gradual build up toward Mao and Suiren's hobbies would've been interesting.
  17. cmarston1

    cmarston1 Animation Enthusiast

    If we are talking about how the concept of trial captains doesn't even exist in the anime, than no, I am not a fan.
    However I do like Kiawe, Lana, and Acerola.
  18. lolipiece

    lolipiece Ya did good, Twerp. Staff Member Moderator

    The lack of Trial Captains isn't really bad because when you think about it, they aren't really needed. You never have to battle them to complete their trials, and the seventh trial has no captain assigned to it. Either it never had a captain or its associated captain died long ago.
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  19. Power Up

    Power Up ...

    Terrible. Just like SM. I mean you have a character who is literally part of the main squad and hasn't done jack sh*t
    MidnightMelody likes this.
  20. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    Well not that I disagree in some regards, but didn't nearly every previous series suffer a similar problem with half the number of main characters?
    satopi and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.

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