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How do you expect the writers to go about writing the 8th gen?

Shadao

Champion GETTO DA ZE!
There are plenty of bungling villains that are stuck in a stagnant loop of failure but can at least make it interesting in HOW they lose. The problem is that the anime has run on for so long that the writers don't even bother adding a punchline to it anymore. TR do motto, twerps call one or two attacks, TR blast off. The only benefit recently are the new Bewear gags.

BW was the last series that really tried to prove that, yes they have to lose no matter what, but at least they can make the process interesting. They can at least force Ash and co to put up a show, or at least get non-stock reactions from them, and prove why you should give a damn. XY-SM TR seem implemented almost as opposite of that, an excuse to keep the hero side bland. Some comical villains do actually work on this level (eg. Wile E Coyote, Dastardly and Muttley) but there is no contradictions in storytelling there because the hero is SUPPOSED to be a prop while the villains are the focus and usually ruin their own plans (this is maybe why Johto did a little better since while it did a lot of TR formula, by Shudo's own admission, TR were often the stars as much as Ash was, so it felt like a full story, in later series they're often just plot devices, and I don't think a single writer would be caught insinuating that the protagonists are intentionally bland).

The Pokemon anime has too often relied on lazy relative approval; making protagonists that are supposed to be remarkable as individuals but usually just pitting them against even bigger losers to hide their blandness. It's not just Team Rocket, every lame rival or COTD all too often feels like a diversion, something to make the protagonists look better than they really are over actually making them interesting. SM has tried to make Ash more vibrant individually, but that hasn't really improved TR as just made them redundant, with Team Skull, an even weaker less impressive version of TR's role, being even more obsolete.

Best Wishes was also the series that made many fans realize that a serious Team Rocket is not really much of an improvement because they still fail their missions but this time have their personalities reduced to mere bad guys. It was a change of fresh air initially, but then you lose the other aspects that made the original TRio entertaining.

The failure comedic villains like Wile E. Coyote and Dastardly are entertaining despite never succeeding, for sure. But these villains live in a negative continuity where progress and character development do not matter, and they have far fewer episodes/short films to prevents the boredom from setting in. Team Rocket is different. They live in a universe where Ash has gone from an incompetent, hotheaded newbie in the late 90s to somewhat of an ace by modern day. That kind of growth is something you'll see in Dragon Ball, with Goku going from a funny kid with a tail to a badass who can fight gods. His version of Team Rocket, the Pilaf Gang, was reduced to nothing more than a filler villain cameo only fit to fight Goku's granddaughter Pan (and even then, Pan still beats them easily). Honestly, the major problem with the TRio is Shūdo's unofficial rule that they must appear in every single episode of Pokémon since their debut. It's a rule that in many ways sped up the entertainment value of the Rocket gang for many people here, and prevented other villainous teams from being developed to their potential.

Speaking of Dragon Ball, I just realize that Shonēn heroes like Goku or Red (Adventures) do not express a lot of personality unless confronted with a rival/villain that can personally get to them. Red in particular was much more energetic, playful and comedic when he's young and competing against the likes of his rivals Blue and Green in Generation I. But based on what I've seen of Red in post-Gen I stories, he's more of the stock Shonēn hero surrounded by a cast of colorful characters with more colorful and in-depth personalities. Sounds familiar?
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Later on BW reverted them back to their comedic role, however it kept the best of both worlds, since they still remained a little challenging at times, but were still were often humorous and pitiful in a way that led to funny interactions with the twerps. In other words whatever level of threat the story would let them be they could work themselves into it, and whenever the writers couldn't think of a role for them they just didn't use them. This was ultimately helpful since a lot of later BW just ended up filler.

XY and SM slowly lent the other way, with the twerps not bouncing off of them competent OR buffoonish, but the writers still using them as padding any time they run out of ideas. Thus even with less TR filler, they ran dry and overstayed their welcome MUCH quicker than in BW, and maybe even in the previous series they appeared ALL THE TIME.

Concerning the growth, well Ash himself is stuck in the same stagnancy, and right now they seem to be trying to embrace that and just make him vibrant enough to work as a recurring character. He interacts well with nearly everyone but his old enemies however. Even the premise of TR being able to catch up with Ash again through Mimikyu and the Z Moves, or Ash being an equally cartoony fish out of water has not really been exploited. Their rivalry is run completely by formula. Even besides that, only Ash has long outgrown TR, every series otherwise uses new rookie characters, and most of them now aren't even powerful, which if anything should given more leeway to TR maintaining some threat, or at least not winding down into monotony so quickly per series, especially with the 'every episode' mandate gone.

SM has at least bothered to demote Team Rocket in favour of fresher material, but they're still ultimately stuck using them every once in a while, so the problem is still there, just hidden better.
 
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Jeal

Well-Known Member
Even besides that, only Ash has long outgrown TR, every series otherwise uses new rookie characters, and most of them now aren't even powerful, which if anything should given more leeway to TR maintaining some threat.
TR was defeated by a newly catched Caterpie in episode 3.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
TR was defeated by a newly catched Caterpie in episode 3.

The OS relied on cartoon logic. Just a few episodes later James' Koffing stalemated against Brock's Onix with a TACKLE.

It's not just the one sided battles though, the face offs all around are kinda dull now, while earlier on, even if TR didn't exactly put up a good battle, they had lots of funny back up schemes and banter with the twerps. It felt like they at least got a performance out of the heroes so the story didn't stop being about them, while now the heroes nearly always 'shut off' when TR butt in.
 

Shadao

Champion GETTO DA ZE!
Honestly, the Team Rocket trio should let Team Skull have the spotlight. Or perhaps they should not go after Ash at any point except the end. It'll pretty much end with Ash blasting them off without so much of a sideway glance. All of their achievements and efforts will mean nothing to him.

Really, they should focus more on Team Skull. Heck, given that Team Skull is an organization composed of Jessie and James-like people, it could have offer a more sympathetic side for both villainous gangs when they realize how much they have in common. Heck, instead of fighting each other, they join forces to become a genuine threat for a climatic arc instead of the daily routine where Ash uses them as a training bag for Rowlet.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Honestly, the Team Rocket trio should let Team Skull have the spotlight. Or perhaps they should not go after Ash at any point except the end. It'll pretty much end with Ash blasting them off without so much of a sideway glance. All of their achievements and efforts will mean nothing to him.

Really, they should focus more on Team Skull. Heck, given that Team Skull is an organization composed of Jessie and James-like people, it could have offer a more sympathetic side for both villainous gangs when they realize how much they have in common. Heck, instead of fighting each other, they join forces to become a genuine threat for a climatic arc instead of the daily routine where Ash uses them as a training bag for Rowlet.

I feel like having an ineffectual regional team this time was a good opening for balance, have Team Skull the ineffectual starter villain and Team Rocket the less recurrent but slowly bettering threat that become more imposing each time the twerps face them again due to the new resources they get. Basically BW but done in reverse (and more intentionally).

As much of the problem comes from the fact the villains are seldom three dimensional in role, they're just a generic plot device for the heroes to defeat and look 'badass' against. SM is even more transparent in that regard since despite an increase in antagonists, NONE of them really pose as a complex opposition, not even the one the games practically handed them on a silver platter (the weight of the AF arc was dumbed down significantly and even as a basic challenge, Mother Beast was taken down through a generic mix of curbstomp and DEM, and this was the main arc boss for the series). I think Kiawe's bout with Bourgain was about the only time we got a halfway meaningful rivalry, given it amounted to some character driven development for Kiawe and a halfway eventful battle with good use of tactics, and even then not exceptional. Hell I don't think Team Rocket have even had their obligatory enemy mine with Ash yet, the one bit of direct grey morality every series has bothered to do beforehand.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
the face offs all around are kinda dull now,

It's interesting you say that, because to me, SM12 and SM76 are two of the best Ash/TR faceoffs in the history of the show, so to me they've definitely improved this gen.

Hell I don't think Team Rocket have even had their obligatory enemy mine with Ash yet, the one bit of direct grey morality every series has bothered to do beforehand.

What is this?
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
It's interesting you say that, because to me, SM12 and SM76 are two of the best Ash/TR faceoffs in the history of the show, so to me they've definitely improved this gen.

The problem is that neither of those really had endings, they didn't benefit Ash's role in the long run, he won through plot armour. Bewear saved Ash in SM12 and Ash just brushed off TR almost having his number, so it was just a random 'thing'. Even SM76 proved ultimately just to set up Pikachu getting Electro Web and when that happened TR had served their purpose as plot devices, even worse since this was meant to be Ash's Trial and he won through two DEMs. Their role as antagonists there wasn't really a proper challenge, it was just padding, something to excuse the protagonists not really having much involvement.

Compare to BW where TR were formidable, but Ash just upped his game and fought them off. They counted as an effective challenge. About the only time SM intertwined this well was perhaps the Alolan Meowth episode. It was about the only one where TR put up a halfway smart plan but the twerps proved they could be smarter, and even then it was amazing, it was just to the level the heroes couldn't just stand there and do their stock bits.

The post-Necrozma episodes have had a few TR situations that were good in the form of the dynamic being funny rather than challenging, I think even then many previous series have surpassed that quality, especially the OS.

What is this?

'Enemy mine'. Trope term for when two enemies have a common enemy and team up.
 
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Nodame

Well-Known Member
Alola is actually good, since they stopped trying to make him seem badass, and instead just made him entertaining,who provides comedy, which fits the whole 3-4 year reset thing way better.
 

Redstar45

The Anime/Special's canon know it all.
Yeah well they still crappie at that .
 

Redstar45

The Anime/Special's canon know it all.
His personality is what peeved me .......as Satoshi is not butt head THAT he was in the os anime era !
 

MidnightMelody

Hopeful for Gen 8
If the writers want to make a noob the lead every few series just replace Ash. In a way they did since SUMO Ash is so not XY Ash or a continued version of him. They are not afraid to pretty much rehaul the personality but are too scared to replace him which really makes no sense. Also the the excuse of the age group for the show is just invalid since Digimon and Yugioh are the same age group and those shows have more depth to them. Pokemon writers need to make a good adaption. Ash gets a full team within the first 60 episodes,a good cast,a nice journey and a actual good league with no half assed battles.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
SM Ash I think works in terms of giving him an actual personality that kinda works in terms of basic storytelling, as in he doesn't rely just on goals and is now vibrant enough to work in fillers and supporting roles, things that take up just as large an amount of the show. I think the problem is that it doesn't always work with what his dynamic role throughout the show has built up to, which largely had his personality a secondary focus (besides maybe the early OS) and sometimes they have to make breaches on his previous characterisation to make him work within a dynamic.

Some of these I don't think are done TOO horribly. Take his dynamic with Lillie for example, while it is true Ash should know by now what eyes a Ditto has and shouldn't require consoling over losing a friend, I can largely stomach these since they feel less shoehorned in to make Lillie feel important and more so Lillie can CONNECT with Ash and they can have a cute even handed dynamic, as shown with similar times Lillie is the flawed character and Ash sticks up for her in a depthful way. These moments also tend to be sporadic and subtle enough that I don't think Ash is becoming TOO inconsistent a character, there is some heartfelt well meaning pace to the storytelling besides 'the protagonist screws up and learn things' formula.

Also I think a recurring problem is that Ash maybe provides too much limelight, and also maybe too much of the buffoonery. The problem isn't so much he does it AT ALL because being a butt monkey but deceptively reliable does to some degree fit him throughout the show, but they maybe spam his incompetence in many activities and that role could be used to let another protagonist gain foibles or sympathetic humour. It's not too much of a detriment to Ash in particular though as the writers can often vindicate him as the episode continues, maybe they're not so confident the other characters can do the same and may risk looking too pitiful (indeed most of the characters that come close to the same comic charm as Ash usually have a nearing level of character agency).

The next gen having a balance, keeping that silly vibrancy to Ash from SM but remembering to sideline and moderate him that little bit, for the sake of his own character and others, would probably be the best compromise. If anything SM Ash might be a bit stale as a main protagonist, but he'd probably make the most awesome companion of the series.
 

Redstar45

The Anime/Special's canon know it all.
No thank as i would like my Satoshi continue grow as character even he is not going to be getting the growing part yet and i didn't like how sm made him more stupid then his os era self and i hate that and you could use kiawa for his role in the Pokemon anime and Satoshi as hothead and well experience 10 years old sub-treacher yell at his students for not actually paid attention to studying school work that could help whole school settings that they wanted so badly apparently and they doesn't have followed the Pokemon games all that much .
 

TheWanderingMist

Paladin of the Snow Queen
They need to recapture the OS charm, but I don't think that's likely. Heck, the OS charm is probably why the series went into overdrive and outlasted most of the other 90s fads *cough*Pogs*cough*
 

Redstar45

The Anime/Special's canon know it all.
Well it is part if it charm during the os era but mostly because of something that we has never seem in most anime or cartoon in the west take on video games series l
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I admit to liking those odd times in SM where Ash is snarky again (eg. the start of the Necrozma arc). This again would likely be why sharing the 'butt monkey' role more evenly would be beneficial, since several times someone else is being targeted SM Ash is allowed to be more lucid (but without losing his humorous qualities like in XYZ).
 

Caseydia

Ace Trainer
Considering the tone of this series and they way they have been handling most of the gyms, I am not expecting a miracle.
 
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