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How would Ash winning a league change the anime?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by U.N. Owen, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    You call it high-quality, but some see it as a half-baked mess. You might think it's improved in quality, others may see it as a step back. I know your posts seem to focus a lot on animation being the be-all-end-all of what determines the quality or level of importance in the series (or so I've gathered, I could be wrong), but there's a lot more to make something good, with writing often being the core.

    And at the end of a day, loving a franchise doesn't mean they're always writing it well.

    Though of course they're restricted by the execs; I don't think anyone argues that. I'm sure "writers" by this point is just a term for "anyone who makes decisions about how the story goes".
  2. LilligantLewis

    LilligantLewis primarina donna

    but what does the move to Sunday say?
  3. AuraChannelerChris

    AuraChannelerChris Final Destination me, you *****.

    I dare ask: what increase in quality?
  4. Yuugis Black Magician

    Yuugis Black Magician Well-Known Member

    The quality has objectively increased for Sun & Moon in comparison to previous series. Character acting and facial expressions have received actual focus. Battles are no longer the only time a good key animator is able to shine. In fact, the actual increase in the number of good animators on the series has drastically changed the landscape of the series in comparison to even XY.

    This also goes for the storylines, too. Sun & Moon incorporates a look into the everyday life of the Pokemon world with storylines about the potential destruction of the world and then does one-off episodes about the passing of time and the eventual end of life. There's such a succinct, concerted vision for Sun & Moon even just beyond increasing the number of storytelling techniques.

    Japanese cartoons in general are moving to Sundays because that's when kids are off from school.

    More varied storylines, actual ambition to toss aside the past and strive for new ideas and rules where they can and expanded focus on storytelling techniques and voices. Veterans of the franchise like Asada Yuuji and Iwane Masa'aki are raising their game while there's been a flood of new young talent since the third year of XY to make the characters shine through more than mere dialogue or voice actor performance. Character Designer Nakano Satoshi, Character Designer Yasuda Shuuhei, Yamazaki Rena, Nishiya Yasushi, Akiyama Yasuhiko, Oohashi Aito, Fujii Shingo and other youngsters joined the franchise in regular or semi-regular roles as animation supervisors and/or key animators to imbue the series with new life and the past two years have been extremely successful in that regard.

    Iwane Masa'aki especially has gone nuts on Sun & Moon. Say nothing of his impossible, unheard of speed in being able to key animate one episode all by himself in a month and a half while keeping his drawings detailed, he's been able to do that while also providing 2-3+ minutes of actual character acting or action animation per episode. Iwane wasn't doing this twenty years ago during the first series--when he was in his thirties--he's now pushing to increase the quality of his episodes at fifty-three years old, when animators begin to break down and not maintain the quality of their work.

    Sun & Moon is objectively higher in quality over previous Pokemon series from a storytelling point of view. Iwane's doing work now that puts his work on the Shin'nou League and Kalos League to shame and he's doing it in just six weeks an episode.
  5. Shadao

    Shadao Well-Known Member

    I say this is getting off topic.

    Going back to the matter: If Ash Ketchum wins, he'll no doubtly explain to the audience that's this is just another small step for him to Pokémon Master. And he will find a stronger opponent to make him want to go to the next region.
    Spider-Phoenix and Redstar45 like this.
  6. FlygontheRavager

    FlygontheRavager #1 Pokémon Anime Fan!

    I’ll agree that the animation is objectively better, but the storytelling being better is subjective. As you’ve no doubt seen, some people quite dislike SM’s storytelling (me not included), but that doesn’t make them wrong - not unless they decide to act like jerks about it towards other people.
  7. Mew2

    Mew2 Team Rocket's Enemy

    He may call it a "small step". But for us fans who have been with him for generations, it will be the biggest step he's ever taken.
    Spider-Phoenix and Redstar45 like this.
  8. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    I could argue you're wrong, though. Perhaps not about the animation; sure it's improved if horribly misused across the board. Character animation is great and all, but if my battles are a slog to get through, was it really worth it in the end? I'd argue not.

    And storytelling, as @FlygontheRavager says above is something arguable. Because I find most of the time SM tries to go with an actual plot, it's usually a mess. Necrozma and Aether don't stand the test against other plot-driven arcs of earlier series, and even the other episodes often reek of anti-climax by either just ending or setting up for a battle and turning it into a gag. It's the saying "too many cooks spoil the broth", well, too many references and and storytelling techniques spoil the plot. (I'm also not sure how I can take your word on storytelling when you say the Flare arc was less important than the League just because of who animated it...)

    Plus, it just doesn't feel like Pokemon to me anymore. It feels like another show with a Pokemon skin.

    To lead back to the original topic, it's why I hardly feel that Ash winning a League in Alola will have any meaning. They don't really care about it here; it's a formality for them to keep that "Pokemon skin" on.
  9. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    Didn't earlier series do that too, just unironically with Team Rocket. Remember stuff like the Goodra arc that was setting up a big battle between it and Florges, "Oh but Team Rocket were involved, call off the battle and go after them (who are conveniently much easier and more formulaic to beat)". I got sick of every single freaking plot being cut off by something generic like a Team Rocket curb stomp, while at least SM's plots, while anti climatic, often have some sort of flow or unique touch and let the protagonists have some sort of unique involvement.

    Even the big arcs of previous series usually ended on an anti climax anyway, just a really flashy one (eg. Lysandre and Hunter J getting their ass totally handed to them by a legendary). A good developed villain fight is not "Villain curb stomps hero completely, then hero is given something so they curb stomp villain completely", it's predictable and still a cop out in a different more pretentious way.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  10. Power Up

    Power Up ...

    And it’s objectively decreased during battles? Funny faces, dances, fillers in general etc have never been the focus of the Pokémon anime and should never be

    There’s nothing objective about SM’s plot lines being better than XY’s. There is nothing even to suggest that the animators enjoy working on SM more compared to XY unless you have a citation that doesn’t involve you writing a **** ton about something you think you know everything about

    Unless you have a citation saying that the animators think they’re doing better work compared to previous gens, I’m gonna call BS on whatever statements you’ve made about animators

    More to the point, this is Ash’s journey and his quest to become a Pokémon master. Winning a league is a huge step to that and it’s obvious that people who don’t care about Ash’s goal will undervalue it
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    There was a big battle with Florges, which Goodra won, and was then hit by TRio to let Florges get away. Then a whole episode was spent on TRio's machinations. That's not the definition of anti-climax. The battle was the conflict at the swamp, which took two episodes to resolve; it was the enemy that was unknown for the first episode (hinted at, however). And from a writing standpoint, TRio battles do offer climax. Perhaps they're not the most engaging or complex outside of a few, but they do offer a moment where the conflict is resolved. I'll take a climax that is standard over uniqueness that does, ultimately, nothing.

    And you think of the Flare arc very differently, because Complete Zygarde would have never happened if the characters hadn't spent the last 4 episodes battling Lysandre and Team Flare. It's a climactic end to a battle, not a curbstomp. Everything built up to that moment and Lysandre was on his last legs, legs that were taken out by Ash and Alain destroying his control panel. Zygarde was just the coup de grace. That's the literal opposite definition of an anti-climax.
  12. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    The Florges arc was an anti climax in that the first battle was merely meant to be the start of the war (and even in that Goodra DEMed a new move to win), but then out of nowhere they scapegoated Team Rocket, a more generic black and white (and often easier to stop) adversary for the twerps to suddenly be completely at fault, shifting all blame and role as an antagonist away from Florges, not to mention how absurdly easily the swamp dehydration and Florette's sickness were cured straight after stopping them. This happens for a TON of grey/jerk characters, the twerps being ineffective turning them so Team Rocket butting in and withholding them of their past actions so the plot can suddenly be about teaming up to stop them. Hell even the Flare arc was similar, rather than having a grey antagonist that the heroes tried to reason with, we had a pure evil one and a patsy that they could easily go "but it's not their fault at all, the other villain used them, we don't need to put any complexity or emotional weight into that and can just make it about stopping that other bad guy". Alain wasn't awful but I laugh when the creative team imply he was their attempt at Anakin Skywalker.

    Sun and Moon isn't great for villains either, but maybe that's why they don't use them nearly as much and even use more complex situations that the twerps can't just beat up. The Ultra Beasts for example have to treated differently since they aren't real villains and rarely does a more generic villain come in and simplify the twerps' solution to that. Hell some episode avoid antagonists of any sort and just focus on personal dilemmas for the protagonists, which may be more mundane but can still offer a lot in terms of characterisation and star power than just 'beating up evil guys' for the climax of every episode can.

    Mallow is the only companion that keeps to the old formula for most of her limelight, and many fans agree she is the most underdeveloped companion because of it, because beating up nasty schmucks like Team Rocket's Meowth isn't remotely relevant to her character and agenda. Even Ash, despite maybe diluting his goal focus a little too much, I think has benefitted from having episodes he can just breathe in or do something different from being a battle borg (which many complained he was devolving into by XY),
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  13. Frozocrone

    Frozocrone Miraculous!

    Wouldn't change anything. He won Orange Island and no one cares.

    Defeated Battle Frontier and then lost toa retired trainer.

    They would find a way to invalidate or reset him regardless.
    Spider-Phoenix and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  14. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    In reality, removing TRio makes Florges become just an invader who took over. TRio made it more complex by manipulating the spring and her into the conflict. And Alain was never meant to be morally gray. He was a character with heroic motivations that was always duped from the beginning; we saw this. We never saw him do horrible things that he knew were horrible. Far as he knew, this was for the good of everything. They said he was an Anakin Skywalker because he worked for the bad guys to protect the people he loved; not because he went around murdering things.

    But I don't want to go off-topic anymore, so I'll ask something: what are these "creative" solutions to a problem that actually feels like a threat? Where's this morally gray situation?

    Because at the end of the day, SM is really more of the same with a different coat of paint, and sometimes that paint goes over things it shouldn't.
  15. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    The thing is those characters still did morally dubious things under the belief they were helpful to a well meaning cause. THAT is where the Anakin Skywalker link is meant to be, but the problem is that while Anakin suffered the emotional weight and consequences of choices that, in spite of manipulation from other forces, HE still made, the anime always goes hand waves it as being completely and utterly the manipulator's fault and the character in spite of still doing things they knew weren't 100% right, being withdrawn of any fault.

    Even with her sympathetic excuse, Florges was still a ruthless character that came to immediate conclusion of just attacking and throwing everyone out of the area where water still remained. While it was revealed to be Team Rocket's fault she didn't have any in the first place, she still made that choice on her own and little implied she was even sorry about it before or after. Alain had more pressure but he still succinctly captured Z2 and left it to be tortured and experimented on by Flare. Basically sympathetic motive for dubious action is not the same as 'completely not their fault'.

    This happened even in many basic 'antagonistic COTD' situations, like the two Pangoro episodes or the Zapdos one in XY. They didn't know how to have the twerps handle a not-totally-evil-but-still-antagonistic character so just brought in an eviler character to simplify it. That's less developing or resolving the problem and more just enabling or forgetting about it, which doesn't make the twerps feel very effective as protagonists. Even besides that, the characters don't really get any development from this runaround, gullibility is rarely called out as a flaw in the anime since so many plots are reliant on the likes of Team Rocket easily duping people, so after a while it just becomes formula driven fluff. Making bad guys the impetus of the story often just becomes an excuse to make the heroes chess pieces that don't really drive the plot themselves or rely on much of a unique personality. Every single episode, they get easily duped the same way and then the villains get easily overpowered the same way.

    SM is guilty of simplifying grey situations as well (eg. it's complete castration of the Aether plot, though one could argue they still called out Lusamine for letting it all happen) but I guess the thing is they don't make such 'complicated' situations the centre piece all the time, and more often just go for what it CAN do well (cartoony stories) and try to use it to it's full potential. Sure solving the UB problems through trickery is kinda anti climatic but at least it's not absolving it's characters of any noteworthy involvement, they still have to do something that requires more than two brain cells compared to a one sided battle against Team Rocket. Also the UBs being non-malicious antagonists is at least SOMETHING along the lines of a grey situation that is acknowledged, since the protagonists try actively to work around that and succeed.

    To try and bring this back on topic at least slightly, I feel this is why SM feels at least remotely helpful to Ash's characterisation since it shows he can be versatile. He can improvise and be crafty without using his usual niche of battling all the time, and in some cases not even use his Pokemon. It shows how he can have effective moments as a protagonist outside his goals, meaning him losing said goal all the time doesn't make him seem like an unaccomplished character.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  16. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 Neutral force of Meh

    wait, iwane is in his 50s? He looks 70 at his youngest
  17. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 Neutral force of Meh

    tbh, I'd rather have had florges be a full on black and white morality villain instead of making her look like an idiot and not just say, asking the pokemon at the swamp for help for floette(florges was definitely powerful enough to beat TR on her own if they tried something)
    LilligantLewis likes this.
  18. Gizmoduck

    Gizmoduck Burns eternally hot


    Nothing will happen, because nothing ever happens in the anime. It's literally Status Quo: The Anime. Everything will go right back to normal the next episode, win or lose.
  19. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    My sentiments exactly.

    Ash won the Orange League which was inexplicably structured like facing the Elite Four and Champion: still traveling
    Ash wins the Battle Frontier: still traveling
    Ash wins X challenge in the next 100000000000000000 years: I'm more convinced that Death will die than Ash stopping his travels.
    Spider-Phoenix and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  20. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    This is why I can't begrudge SM because it at least feels like he's not constantly doing the exact same thing he does every single series. I feel like if every series at least changed up the formula a bit so the journey to the league was different, him losing all the time would seem less monotonous (though the first two series at least had said alternate tournaments, hell the Orange League even had some cool variety in trials).
    FlygontheRavager likes this.

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