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How do you feel about Ash and Sawyer's rivalry?

AuraChannelerChris

The Dragon / "Dog"
It's a good thing the main hook of the rivalry was entirely about Sawyer not being Ash's equal and being someone that learns from him. Kinda sounds like it was intentional.
It's as if Sawyer was created as a better take on the last time Ash was "mentoring" someone naturally inferior to him the previous region, but that someone trounced him because the universe was out to screw Ash for being nice to that someone.
 

U.N. Owen

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...
He existed only to make Ash look better in comparison
It's why when Ash first battled Alain, they decided to bring Shouta long to lose since they needed to cushion the blow of Ash losing. That, or that episode felt like a rushed two parter was actually planned to be a two parter.

We seriously needed more time with the kid for a proper rivalry. Honestly, we should have heard a bit more inner monologuing from him at the very least.
 

mysticalglacia

Alola Shill
I think something better would be to have Ash and his rival lose and win against each other multiple times. It’s a more even ratio, and we’ve never seen that explored either. As much as I love proper buildup to Ash eventually beating his rivals, I think a rivalry where you would genuinely never know the outcome of a battle could be pretty cool. Would show how competent Ash is, but also let us know there are people just as good (not better, but more or less equal).
 

AznKei

Beware of the び jacks in DDR! X_X
It is kinda nice to see a rival who Ash is ahead of for once. Seeing Ash constantly lose to his main rival all series until the league like Gary, Paul, Trip, Gladion, Alan, etc. is tiring.
I know it's tiring to see Ash constantly losing against them from the audience because he's the main character, but in a way it does makes sense because that's how competition works after all. They want to win too and you don't expect them to suddenly become soft to Ash so they can let him win.
 

Spider-Phoenix

#ChespinGang
I enjoyed Sawyer's character. He's my favorite rival. Key word being "favorite" since as far as "Best Rival" goes, the place is still Paul's.

But Sawyer was an enjoyable character.

To be honest, I wish he had been a companion instead. I'd take him over Clemont/Bonnie any day.
 

Xuxuba

Well-Known Member
He is my favorite rival actually. Ash being the underdog got tiring after the 10000x time, so it was interesting to see a new take where the rival is the underdog who eventually becomes his equal. Sawyer also had a lot of personality and wasn't a stoic edgy character like Paul, Trip, Alain and Gladion were.

I've seen complaints about his quick growth, but then again some people are just quick learners and more focused than others. Besides, it is not like he was an entire noob by the time he appeared. He already had challenged some gyms and earned some badges, traveled both Hoenn and Kalos and caught more pokémon. If anything he already had more experience than most of the SM cast.

I also don't think he was introduced too late. He first appeared in XY064 and then met Ash a few episodes later when he was challenging Valerie. A lot of the League rivals only appear at the end of the series. Guzma only appeared in SM115, Hau only appeared in SM097, Virgil only appeared in episode 102, almost every single AG rival appeared either in the League arc or near the League arc, so did Tobias and several others. Nonetheless they were still able to do with Sawyer what they wanted to do and his character felt like he came to a full circle, unlike Hau, Barry and many others.
 
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J.Agera

Well-Known Member
He is my favorite rival actually. Ash being the underdog got tiring after the 10000x time, so it was interesting to see a new take where the rival is the underdog who eventually becomes his equal. Sawyer also had a lot of personality and wasn't a stoic edgy character like Paul, Trip, Alain and Gladion were.

I've seen complaints about his quick growth, but then again some people are just quick learners and more focused than others. Besides, it is not like he was an entire noob by the time he appeared. He already had challenged some gyms and earned some badges, traveled both Hoenn and Kalos and caught more pokémon. If anything he already had more experience than most of the SM cast.

I also don't think he was introduced too late. He first appeared in XY064 and then met Ash a few episodes later when he was challenging Valerie. A lot of the League rivals only appear at the end of the series. Guzma only appeared in SM115, Hau only appeared in SM097, Virgil only appeared in episode 102, almost every single AG rival appeared either in the League arc or near the League arc, so did Tobias and several others. Nonetheless they were still able to do with Sawyer what they wanted to do and his character felt like he came to a full circle, unlike Hau, Barry and many others.
Is it mentioned in the series that he travelled in Hoenn before?
If yes, then one problem with his character is just solved.
 

Xuxuba

Well-Known Member
Is it mentioned in the series that he travelled in Hoenn before?
If yes, then one problem with his character is just solved.
Yes, he is originally from Hoenn and started his journey there. We see some flashbacks of his journey there. Eventually, he decided to go to Kalos, although it is not exactly clear when that happened.
 

Xuxuba

Well-Known Member
He didn’t have any badges in Hoenn and his Treecko was still weak when we saw him so he definitely didn’t go on a journey before coming to Kalos.
We did see him traveling Hoenn and battling some wild pokemon there, aswell as meeting Steven. I am not saying he completed every gym there, visited every city and became the strongest battler ever, but he definetly traveled the place as shown in his flashbacks.
 

Bortgreen

UP NEXT: A Hangry Return
It was a great idea but deserved to be built up more slowly, similar to Ash vs Paul(the best rivalry in my opinion) who started in like the second or third episode
I'd like something like that:

Ash arrives in Kalos as an experienced trainer, nothing much different. Meanwhile, Sawyer begins his journey(probably not with a Treecko since this happened because of ORAS). Ash and him have a battle similar to the one vs child Kukui, stomping him but motivating him to improve.
Then, over the three years, he starts to improve his team. He gets a Treecko later similarly to how you get the Kanto starters in XY. He slowly gets some badges, a bit later than Ash but eventually keeping up. The two have some more battles, with the results getting closer and closer. Then we have that Greninja arc where Ash loses to him and later in the league they have a climatic battle in the semi-finals or even finals, instead of Alain
 

Epicocity

Well-Known Member
We did see him traveling Hoenn and battling some wild pokemon there, aswell as meeting Steven. I am not saying he completed every gym there, visited every city and became the strongest battler ever, but he definetly traveled the place as shown in his flashbacks.
Not to mention that by the time Ash meets him, Treecko was already ready to evolve into Grovyle which hints at some level of experience...especially when Champion Steven Stone takes notice of you (thrice over by the end of the series).
 

thedarkdragon11

P4P Elite
Well, it's nice to see Ash inspiring rookie trainers with great potential... For a newbie to grow that fast to go toe-to-toe against one of Ash's best Pokémon team makes it more impressive... It may not be intentional but in a way, it seems to impact Ash going to Alola by beating a mentor himself, which in a way (thru Masked Royal) became his own rival, too...

I say Sawyer is the best secondary rival, beating Ritchie, Barry, Tierno, Hau and Masked Royal...
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
I didn't like it much. Shota was a decent character in and of himself, but I thought that him being introduced in the middle of the Kalos saga made little sense from a pacing standpoint. There wasn't much tension between Satoshi and Shota either, so it made their rivalry feel like there was nothing at stake, unlike the rivalry between Satoshi and Alain.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
He could’ve been an underdog with a well-paced character arc
Wally in the games isn't well-paced at all. He battles you once after Mauville City with a Ralts only, and then doesn't show up again until Victory Road with a full team of five. Wally is pretty overrated imo by the games fandom as a rival and should have had more appearances.
 

mysticalglacia

Alola Shill
Wally in the games isn't well-paced at all. He battles you once after Mauville City with a Ralts only, and then doesn't show up again until Victory Road with a full team of five. Wally is pretty overrated imo by the games fandom as a rival and should have had more appearances.
I never said that he was well-paced in the games, though. I like him but I do agree that the fandom vastly, vastly overrates him (and his theme, but no one wants to talk about it sounding like the cheap BGM of a karate movie montage); essentially what his character is is the end product of development we don’t really care about, because we never see it happen. Still, it was an attempt, and I think Wally would’ve been much better if being written into the anime.
 
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