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Is Ash really that bad??

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by queerstin, Feb 25, 2015.

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  1. queerstin

    queerstin Terrible Trainer

    Ok so, my girlfriend and I have been rewatching Pokemon from the first season and she absolutely hates Ash. She sees him as a cruddy trainer and annoying to watch. I'll admit he got some badges in really unorthodox ways and never evolves that friggin pikachu. But, is he really all THAT bad?
  2. An00bis

    An00bis Wicked Witch

    Statistically speaking, he's in the Top Percentile of Trainers.

    I'd say the top 20%.

    The Kanto Arch presented a pretty reasonable test-group of four Trainers from Pallet. Mind that the vast majority of Pokemon Trainers never leave the general vicinity of their Hometown. They spend their lives just training one or two Pokemon they caught from 'round the way. Of those that do decide to take it on the road about half will return home within their first year. Either they run out of money, the conditions on the road are too harsh, or they're just that bad that they can't get ahead. They just can't continue so they go home and retire.

    Of those that remain, an additional 50% will decide to pursue another career path other than Training within their first five years. Gary changed, Brock changed, May changed, Serena changed, people change their minds as they explore the world and learn of other options. They may not necessarily retire but they are no longer professional Trainers.

    Very few Trainers obtain the eight badges of their Home Region and participate in the Pokemon League. Fewer do that in the span of a year (or less). And of those that do not many reach the Top 16. Ash not only gets eight badges but he gets them consistently. He has not missed a Pokemon League since he began his journey. His talent for training has been recognized by Champions and others who are decisively in the Top Percentile of Pokemon Trainers. He was even given an opportunity to join those ranks which he declined. He has been invited to compete on a World Stage by these Trainers.

    You don't get that kind of recognition by being " bad ".

    Most of Ash's critics don't seem to understand that Pokemon Training in the anime world is a whole different beast than Pokemon Training in the games. It's not just a numbers game. Emotion, intelligence, will, personality, conditions, and other things that cannot be accurately represented in game-form come into play. Most of the time, Ash can't just do something because he thinks its the right thing to do. There are living, breathing, creatures involved who's feelings he has to consider. The anime tries to define the line between doing what's best and doing what's right by reminding us every so often that Pokemon are not tools that mindlessly follow commands. Pokemon have minds of their own, and in order to bring out their strength you have to build a certain level of trust. Raw Talent can only get you so far as the arch with Paul has shown us.
  3. Mr. Reloaded

    Mr. Reloaded An enigma

    He's really not haha.
    The people who say Ash is bad are generally the people who haven't watched in 12yrs.

    He was bad in Kanto because he was a noob and the writers had no idea on how to handle the anime. He gets WAY better as seasons progress (except for Unova) and his Sinnoh league run was by far one of the best leagues in the series. His XY persona is pretty decent too but is definitely flawed lol.
  4. Lorde

    Lorde Banned

    Imo in general, yes. His progress from the start until DP was decent, but as BW showed us, even that can disappear via regression. XY hasn't exactly changed much either, although it's been a step in the right direction.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  5. chalkus

    chalkus Well-Known Member

    The writing in Kanto was far from stellar, and the characters suffered because of it. Brock was the only one who was okay from beginning to end. Misty, imo, was worse than Ash. At least he never put his hands on anyone.

    Just skip everything else and watch Diamond and Pearl. Your GF will appreciate you for it.
  6. LizardonX

    LizardonX Banned

    Your girlfriend is right.
  7. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."

    An00bis defended him based on how the Pokémon world sees him (and they're very good points), so I'm going to defend him as a character.

    I recently finished the original series, and one of the things I liked about it was Ash himself. The writing isn't good in Kanto up until the end of Johto, I get that. However, that doesn't automatically mean Ash was a terribly-written character in spite of it. One needs to keep in mind that Ash is ten, he's a kid. Yes, ten-year-olds in the Pokémon world (according to Takeshi Shudo) are considered adults, and there were times in the anime that Ash and his friends weren't treated as children (I don't think there ever was a point in the series where older adults told them along the lines of "You kids shouldn't be here" or "This is grown-up stuff" outside of the evil organization, maybe), but Ash is a kid at heart. And as a kid, when he first started out, he was inexperienced. He had to learn how to become a good Trainer and how to raise and nurture his Pokémon, to gain their trust and draw out their inner strengths. He had many a trial and error, and will continue to do so.

    As I stated in a review post for the series (and thus will repeat here), Ash is a likeable protagonist, and is a great role-model, both in-universe and meta. He has the characteristics of a kid hero: he's energetic, he's positive, he has a goal, he never gives up, he learns quickly. But he's also a kid who knows who he wants to be from the start, and he has of yet to stray from this goal to be a Pokémon Master, to be the very best like no one ever was. This dream is long and arduous, and is filled with many challenges, something he looks forward to because he knows there's always a way to get over that obstacle--and if he fails to pass it, he finds another way around it without straying (too) far from the path. Later on in Hoenn, even though he's constantly learning new things, he becomes a mentor to May (and later Dawn, but I have of yet to get to D/P to see how he mentors her).

    I find these to be very admirable traits to have in a protagonist, even if Ash hasn't grown as a character in years. He may no longer be our role-model, but for children, I can definitely see why kids would like him. Honestly, I think it's safe to say most of us here liked Ash at some point, maybe even found him to be a favorite character. He was personally my childhood hero, and rewatching him as an adult, I can see why, and I can say why. And I can't hate him for that, not as a character.
  8. Red and Blue

    Red and Blue Well-Known Member

    That bad as a trainer or as an actual character?

    As a trainer he is perfectly competent. Sure there were sagas were he regressed, but as a whole he is pretty good.

    As an actual character, pretty meh. He isn't all that interesting due to his stagnation, but I guess he is likable enough. Given the type of series the anime is.
  9. MattySadler

    MattySadler Well-Known Member

    It is easy for people to get annoyed at him because he doesn't win absolutely everything, every single time, and he doesn't necessarily do what others would do in their Pokemon games (isn't that the beauty of Pokemon, though?), but I think Ash is a pretty decent Trainer. His league finishes have all been pretty good.

    His character was flawed, but that was what made him so interesting.

    Now he is just plain, boring and lacking personality and emotion though.
  10. Sidagam

    Sidagam Well-Known Member

    Well he was the 2nd best Trainer at the Sinnoh league, losing top spot to a guy with 2 Legendary's. He'd come a long way since the Kanto days.

    In BW he regressed like hell and was painful to watch but now he's more akin to his AG/DP self.

    He's definetely a competent trainer nowadays. And I expect him to do well in the Kalos League.

    Personality wise he's never really changed. He's less of a moron than he was I guess. But if you've never liked his personality you're not going to now.
  11. SuperSushiFighter

    SuperSushiFighter New Member

    In terms of comparing the Original Series to the game, yeah it was kind of bad. People mostly like it out of nostalgia but it had some bad problems. Trust me, Ash, the characters, and the show gets WAY better in Pokemon Advanced and Pokemon DP. For some reason in Pokemon BW he gets worse than he ever has been but after that in Pokemon XY, he goes in a peek point in my opinion.

    Good things from Pokemon XY The Series...

    1. Ash earns Gym Badges the right way
    2. Ash is less annoying
    3. The show has a good balance of comedy and action.(The cheesy comedy from the Original Series might bug your girlfriend, it is way toned down in other seasons)
    4. The characters have more depth to them.
    5. Cool special episodes.

    Be warned she may prefer the sub over the dub, opinion varies to people.
  12. UltimateNinja

    UltimateNinja Cute Redditmon

    Ash was really bad in Kanto, that's right. But he advanced every season ongoing exclude Best Wishes, where he was a noob again. If your girlfriend wants a competent Ash just let her watch either AG, DP or XY.
  13. Xuxuba

    Xuxuba Well-Known Member

    Kanto -> Noob
    Johto -> Good
    Hoenn -> Sometimes really good, sometimes meh
    Sinnoh -> Really good
    Unova -> Became a noob again for no apparent reason
    Kalos -> Good
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  14. Soniman

    Soniman Break the Limit

    >"in general yes"

    >But he was okay during 60-70% of his run


    Unless you mean trainer wise and not character wise?
  15. grey wing

    grey wing Johto League Champ

    Never been a big Ash fan, because he's, for lack of a better word, a derp. From a character standpoint, he's terribly flat and static. He has demonstrated minimal character development over the past 12 years or so. Additionally, you can always predict what he is going to do since there has been no character development, and he lack flaws (aside from his naïveté). All of these elements combine to make a dull character, as the most interesting characters are flawed heroes and heroic villains. That being said, we have to remember that this is a children's show, and the writers have to keep Ash likeable and relatable to their target audience.
  16. Lorde

    Lorde Banned

    I kinda meant both, but maybe I exaggerated. My point was simply that he was doing fine from OS through DP, but went down a steep slope afterwards and hasn't peaked since.
  17. Cloud5001

    Cloud5001 Well-Known Member

    I once made a thread on my thoughts on Ash's progress. It's gone now but I explained that Ash got better and better with each season until Diamond and Pearl ended, then I felt that because he made it to the top four and managed to beat two Legendary pokemon that he was getting cocky and arrogance is a weakness Ash has never really shaken off just improved it. This in my opinion explains his mediocore performance at the beginning of Black and White. In XY I feel he's back where he should be. Ash has never come across as bad to me, though Black and White did push it. I definetly like the type of trainer Ash is. He sees value in all his pokemon and all pokemon in general, sure he may get pokemon no gamer would think of getting themselves but seeing Ash work with his pokemon team no matter how weak someone says they are is inspirational.
  18. Disaster_Lord

    Disaster_Lord Sad Bayleef is Sad.

    As a trainer he actually got everything one could ask in the Pokemon world, as a game character it's beyond mediocre.

    Back to the Pokemon anime world, he is really competent and inventive, it's a shame that inconsistent writing sometimes capitalizes on poorly tough argument points that often make him be disliked.
  19. Vidar89

    Vidar89 Well-Known Member

    Is Ash bad?

    Well lets see.

    In his first year, he participated in a Regional League. A League that unlike the one in the Games aks every Trainer to compete with each other before he can challenge the Elite Four. In this League he fought against Trainers who were experienced and proffesional Trainers, they are the best Trainers in the Nation this Years. In this League you fight on a competitive Level which is pretty damn high, so most of them are Top Tier Trainers. In his first Year, Ash managed to get to the Top 16 of the League, sure there was a bit of Luck involved but Luck alone can't bring you to Top 16 and the Only Reasons why he was kicked out were:
    1. His Team was exhausted and not ready for Battle, he should have told them what happened but I think it would have made no difference because
    2. The Judge was an incompetent Idiot. ( Sleep is not KO ) This guy would have disqualified Ash if he told him what happened and asked him to delay this battle, so no chance for Ash to regenerate his Team
    3. His Charizard was a jerk and disrespected Ash and his disobiedience was enough for the Judge to declare him eliminated

    Even then it was 2/3, impliying that with a Team that was ready to Battle and a competent Judge, he would have steamrolled Ritchie.

    The next Years ( Ash is not 10, I refuse to believe it, that Introduction at the Beginning of Best Wishes is BS ), he managed to become a constant Top 8 in the Leagues. A constant Top 8 in a highly competitive League. This isn't bad, this is ****ing great.

    If we have to count in the Games as a bar, well. Imagine this. You have a Set amount of time to Obtain 8 Badges against Gym Leaders, who know their stuff and play on a competitive Level, then after you have obtained all 8 Badges, you have to compete with other players who managed to obtain the badges in Time, they know how to play competitive and know how the Meta Game works. Try it, if you manage to get Top16 while playing only for one Year against People who are experienced, then you are a ****ing Genius.

    This is the kind of challenge Ash is going to face in every League.

    To answer the question. Nope Ash isn't a Bad trainer. He is a professional Trainer who is good enough to be one of the best Trainers in every Region he is going.
  20. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    It is pointless to ask the Ash fans of is really Ash that bad or not, because the Ash fans will not sees what makes Ash a bad characters, more importantly they all defend him by using his league achievements, which in their eyes is a marvelous achievement.

    What I acknowledged about the ones who dislike Ash, is that the things they dislike most is his personality. His achievements doesn't justify his favourable impression in the audience's eye, because which I agreed as well, is that league achievement is not a character trait that contribute to his characteristics and personalities, but merely a past record telling what he did before. As he always uses new set of Pokemon every new league, one can't even say his past league record act as certificate certifying his trainer skill level.

    What most Ash hater dislike about him, is that he continued to make stupid mistake, acting naive yet arrogant even up to the DP saga where many claimed that is the best saga, always act emotionally without thinking, especially in battles where there are just so many times forcing his Pokemon to fight using willpower and mere friendship power, ignoring basic Pokemon knowledges and battle strategies where that is supposed to be something largely contributed to the goal of being a powerful trainer. Sometimes his over-righteousness of beating up TRio despite that the three had not done anything bad, and for a few times in the movies blaming the Legendaries for the chaos and shouting out loudly "BAKAYAROU------!!!!!!" at them just showed that he has no respect towards the legendary Pokemon, which oppositely hinted that his caring towards his own Pokemon may just be hypocrisy.

    Especially many of the audience that also played the main series game, which they clearly knew willpower and friendship power is not the only thing required to win battles, but excessive trainings and knowledges are need as well, yet Ash continue to win battles using these easy plot devices without much extensive training and learnings like many other in-universe trainer is what makes his wins seemingly unauthentic and rather unjustifiable.

    And from my POV, his hot-headed personality and the Idiot-Hero characteristic, where he always guard a Pokemon using his very own body rather than effectively instructing his Pokemon to solve problem, yeah it maybe touching in the eyes of many innocent audience, but it is also a sign of he is not believing in the problem-solving ability of his Pokemon and not relying on them. How could such a person be actually qualified as a trainer? Does he even know what a Pokemon Trainer supposed to be by its very fundamental meaning?

    If one wanted to argue that despite he has personality flaw, he still managed to compete into the Pokemon League and achieved top-16/8/4, hence he is still a powerful trainer, well, that will depends on how one comprehend the challenge level of Pokemon League. If one think challengers of Pokemon League represents trainers of a region possessing topmost battle skills, thinking that every single trainer without a single exception will hoping to participate in the challenge, well then yes, one may say Ash surely is a powerful trainer (But still, there are the ones who triumph over him, also the E4 and Champions, so you can't say he is super-powerful, just something above average). If one sees that other than Pokemon League challengers, there are a bunch of trainers do not hoping to participate in the Pokemon League, then one cannot say Ash is really that powerful, as one can't guarantee there exist non-League-challengers much more powerful than League-challengers.

    And this is an irrelevant personal opinion of mine. I personally dislike the character design of Ash very much, especially his upward-tilted straight eyebrows which gives him a solemn look, yet he is a shorty with those kind of old-fashioned '60s manga male juvenile design style, just didn't match with his rash and naive personality at all. Additionally, starting from DP where he imitates the clothing of game protagonist makes him loses originality.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
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