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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. U.N. Owen

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

    It's more that we don't know anything about him. We don't know anything about why he wants to be a master or his backstory. I get the whole show isn't about these, but it's hard to like a character that feels so incomplete for lack of a better term.
  2. Navin

    Navin MALDREAD

    Because that's what he likes? The very first scene of the show is him excitedly watching a league battle between a Gengar and a Nidorino. Kanto pretty much established that. I don't see why any further backstory is necessary.
  3. pokemon fan 132

    pokemon fan 132 Well-Known Member

    Apologies for late reply, but i wasn't able to respond sooner.

    Considering the size this debate achieved extending way beyond initial subjects we argued about, its kinda necessary to write alot. Given how there are many things out there to cover and in my replies i prefer to be thorough and substantual.

    Needless to say its not like i wanted to continue with this endless dabate persay (as i brought up in 2 previous messages of further talk leading nowhere).

    But since my arguments and points are challenged and questioned, its only proper from my side to defend my beliefs and express what i consider illogical or flawed reasoning in your arguments.

    I already proposed to put end to this debate from before, since we dont have any common ground from looks of it not reaching any consensus.

    What im trying to say is how there is more to battles and pokemon strength than type advantage/disadvantage.
    You argue how fire fang was "undeniably strongest and best move to utilize against grass pokemon like Torterra".

    But thats not necessarily true, because for all we know Bertha Hippowdon could have knew hyper beam or some other historically known to be extremely powerful move in pokemon series deciding not to use it.
    Move which could have dealt more damage singlehandedly to Ash Torterra than fire fang did regardless of not being most effective type advantage wise.

    Move which wouldn't be needed if Bertha choosed not to battle at full strength against Ash at current point and time. Resulting in battle not lasting as long as it did in case she used everything she had at her disposal.

    Your line of reasoning based on intensity of battles Ash had when facing E4 members is how "they obviously battled him at full force".

    But this is clear example of logical fallacy. Because someone doesn't need to battle at full strength in order to deliver intense battle. With most tension coming in that battle not from Bertha but Ash himself struggling in that match.

    Stats have nothing to do with this, because water attacks are less efective than fire techniques against bug pokemon like Heracross.

    Using it as example that ties with my argument of best move type advantage wise not necessarily being strongest and one which would deliver most damage to opposing pokemon.

    Whole point is how Bertha Hippowdon may have not even used its strongest attack in that battle, attack which could been more devastating to Torterra than fire fang was.

    It matters, because more moves pokemon knows increases variety of options and unpredictability factor trainer can deliver in battle with its pokemon.

    You can try to play on card of not seeing often cases of pokemon using more than 4 moves per battle ever since Hoenn era finished. But realistically theory how within span of one episode pokemon magically forgets one of its previous moves and relearns older one or new one it utilized before evolution is in least hand illogical and unbelievable.
    Especially during heat of competition where there didn't even existed time for some more concrete training and working on different strategy(such as with May Glaceon in Wallace Cup or Paul Electivire in league competition for example).

    Yes we could apply to educated guess constatation of Bertha Hippowdon not knowing more than 4 moves. Since in newer sagas writers are more religiously following "4 move rule" from games and how "pokemon cannot have more than that". Being rare and very few cases where we would see pokemon going beyond such limit.

    But does that suddenly cancels what happened in past not being rare to see pokemon using 5, 6 , even 10 moves in one battle? Answer is it does not and as long there does not exist confirmation in pokemon anime as separate media from games of being impossible for one pokemon to know more than 4 moves per battle, events of previous sagas and what was previously established in cannon cannot be ignored and viewed as irrelevant.

    Being possible for someone pokemon to know more than 4 moves per battle in newer generations as well, but writers choosing to stick to only limited number of moves in order to both make battles more simple and easier to write for. But also to more faithfully follow games which has been more and more evident with newer generations brining both positive and negative sides with it.

    However that does not mean how for purpose of storyline and difficulty of battle they cannot go beyond that limit if plot asks for it.

    So while its logical to assume how Bertha Hippowdon had only one move left unused, that doesn't set it in stone as being neccesarily indeed true.

    Burden of proof is not on me, but on you,.

    Considering how from very start your claiming how Bertha battled at full strength against Ash.

    And entire premise behind your argument is along the lines: "Torterra managed to hit Hippowdon with leaf storm"; therefore Ash was more or less equal to her.
    Or "Volkner defeated Ash Torterra faster, therefore he must had been stronger challenge going beyond Bertha level".

    Both of this premises are very weak and false.

    A) Difference in skill and strength level between trainers is not measured through whether opposing side would be abe able to prevent its pokemon from receiving any damage. But through strategy, strength of techniques your pokemon utilize, resistance in being able to withstand far more than ordinary trainer pokemon could and how creative and good in planning ahead you are.

    Otherwise going by logic of Ash managing to hit Hippowdon once meaning how hes not far from E4 level, could also be applied when he managed to deliver hit to Lorelei Cloyster, Drake Shelgon or Agatha Gengar. being already "close to their power". Which is absurd and obviously not true.

    B) Ignoring how in Volkner case he immediately used move which would be most effective against grass, ground combination like Torterra. While in Bertha case she waited with fire fang not using it right away.

    Especially when taking in account how there exists far more variables and indications of Bertha not going all in rather than she did. Not just in her pokemon not using all moves, its not even lack of giving with her actions and behavior any impression of struggling and being astonished feeling she might lose battle against Ash.

    Which would be perfectly normal reaction and logical if you feel your strategy is falling apart with opponent outsmarting you.

    But also in Bertha herself not giving any impression of taking this battle nowhere near as serious and hardcore as you seemed to get impression from. Since sole reason she even accepted battle was to point out weaknesses Ash posess as trainer teaching him new things through battle.

    Her Hippowdon clearly demonstrating far more resistance and strength overpowering all of Ash Torterra moves. Unlike Volkner not immediatelly going for most damaging moves against grass types.

    Or whole setting of battle being presented as casual for fun confrontation,

    Rather than battle where Bertha would need to defend her honor and reputation as E4 member.

    Let alone not even taking in account how Bertha seemed to expect more from Ash side seiing he still has long way to go before reaching E4 strength. If her words of Ash skills being fine for someone who has 7 badges were something to go by.

    Angle determines lot of things. Higher the angle above 45 degrees is or translated more vertical trajectory would be, object will fly higher in air, but it would have smaller range in how far it could go. If you rewatch batle you can notice how first time Hippowdon hit Torterra it was on side horizontally resulting in dirupting its balance.
    But last hit with iron head happened right below Torterra hitting it vertically on almost 90 degrees angle.
    Thats not even taking in account other factors which determine how far target would go such as direction of wind or velocity. Being basically impossible to measure how fast Hippowdon moved under ground and if its speed was same during all three digs it used.
    Therefore stamina definitely wasn't only thing which played factor in how much and at what level kinetic force was from those impacts in bringing Torterra down.
    Likewise during first 2 digs Bertha hippowdon used same pattern of coming on left side of Torterra body being possible to determine thanks to moving of rocks if your careful enough where would Hippowdon come out.

    With Bertha warning Ash of not being observant enough and questioning if this is best he can do as trainer. Being satisfied when he was able to predict Hippowdon movement during second dig in noticing how right before impact rocks on ground started to move.
    But coincidence or not after Ash managed to figure out this pattern. Bertha changed strategy with Hippowdon starting to move in different directions under ground becoming impossible both for pokemon and trainer to predict where would this pokemon appear again.
    Proof to that can be found in small rocks around Torterra all starting to move with Hippowdon circling making Ash confused.
    Indicating that Bertha put battle in higher gear confidently saying when iron head hit Torterra „how theres no guarantee same strategy would work twice“. Quickly afterwards ordering more effective moves like fire fang to finish battle. Instead of continuing with iron heads which would take longer to end that match.

    Where did i said that Bertha or Agatha for that matter were going easy on Ash or „sandbagging“? I simply stated ever since this debate started how there is no indication how in this battles E4 members battled at full power.

    Because there exists middle ground too in both not using full power and everything you have, while at same time not using weakest attacks or more simple strategies you would use against rookies or average trainers either.
    All this talk of Bertha about observation, determining how much damage your pokemon can take, how resistant it is and most importantly how creative you are. With greater skills coming in increasing variety of attacks(something she adviced Dawn to use in contests as well), pushing Ash to try harder. Should serve as good enough proof how at that time Ash was no match for E4 like Bertha and how there was no need for her to reveal all aces under her sleeve. Not battling Ash like she would battle another E4 member or champion.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

    Strawman argument.

    When talking about majority of gym leaders Ash faced battling at maximum of their battle abilities i obviously wasn't referring to Ash rookie days when he was still dealing with basics(although in Blaine case i definitely dont think he held back or Lt. Surge for that matter).
    But ever since Johto and onwards, thanks to use of reserves and more experienced pokemon such as against Falkner or Clair. During Hoenn where Ash had to change and adapt to opponent strategy such as in battling against Norman, creative use of various new battle styles like in Snowpoint gym when using ice shard as snowboard for Chimchar or:

    brilliant strategy in overcoming Olympia etc.

    Leaving so many gym leaders clearly struggling, being completely shocked by Ash choice of attacks and smart use of terrain taking it to his advantage. Gym leaders knowing Ash previous record and how they are basically dealing with veteran when talking about later sagas. Accompanied with gym leaders themselves directly through dialogue stating how they wont hold back against Ash either referring to their final poikemon in battle as „ace“(unless you think they lied for which there exists zero evidence).

    Or knowing factually they used their strongest pokemon when facing Ash(like it was case with Jasmine Steelix).

    Than yes, all this small elements build up picture of majority of gym leaders Ash faced werent going compliant on him battling with everything they have. With Ash either through higher skill, incredibly strong pokemon, innovation in battles such as leaving Clair complerely of guard in using Pikachu quick atack on hydropump, accompanied with luck managing to outplay them.

    And yes Clair Dragonair could be considered her best pokemon at that time. Unless you think that was Kingdra which appeared to be her weakest choice compared to games where it is among pokemon with highest level. Or Gyarados who while strong even as powerhouse was still managed to be defeated by Ash. Defeating argument of Ash not facing best she had at that time.

    In fact before Dratini evolution Gyarados could very well be Clair's main pokemon making sense to use her best partner in order to protect relatively fragile Dratini during sensitive time of shedding its skin.

    Nothing i said was exaggeration with you unfortunately misinterpretating my words.
    Ignoring outside circumstances and all factors which were taking place in that battle. Because Bertha Hippowdon not using all moves in battle, possibility of knowing more than 4 attacks. Possibility of utliizing effectively fire fang before third dig. Possibility of Hippowdon not even being her strongest pokemon, but most practical one because of transportation uses.
    Receiving one leaf storm while not tickling it, definitely not bringing E4 pokemon on last legs either. Or Bertha herself not being worried or surprised for second which would be normal reaction if she is being „outsmarted“.
    All of this are unexplored questions and theoretical possibilities which you seem to ignore for some reason overestimating Ash battle abilities, experience and skills in that battle.

    Battle where Ash was tested by E4 member to determine how far he came as trainer and where he stands currently losing relatively easy despite trying his hardest.

    Never i said how this means that Bertha was toying around with Ash , but she sure as hell didn't battled at full force either giving to Torterra and Ash abit too much credit there. If all those indications which suggest otherwise were something to go by as i explained above in post.

    You would have a point only if we go by presumption of Ash Infernape and Pikachu in span of 13 episodes with at least 4 being irrelevant since Ash barely trained during Dawn GF managed to suddenly tenfold their stamina and resistance. Which is laughable at best .

    There didnt passed enough time to expect endurance of Ash pokemon increasing to such high level that they would basically need barrage of attacks like Volkner utilized against infernape in order for Flint to win battle.
    Unless you want me to believe how Volkner Luxray was on pair with Flint Infernape with his thunder fangs and thunder shock „mirroring strength of Flint Infernape attacks“.

    Going by this logic we could say Kenny Empoleon is strong as Flint Infernape; because it knocked down Ash now „more resistant Buizel“ .
    Despite this show clearly demonstrating how huge power gap there is between strength and resistance of Flint pokemon compared to Volkner. Let alone trainers like Kenny.

    For who your entire premise about Volkner being equal to Flint is made of:
    -Volkner being complimented by his friend
    -Ash struggling in defeating Volkner
    But Ash struggle is irrelevant in here, because Ash himself wasn't E4 material or had necessary tools to combat such class of trainers at that point and time. With Ash himself while having chance to defeat Volkner being more or less outplayed by Bertha and especially Flint in Sinnoh not having chance for a second in those battles to defeat them.
    Im sorry to say but thats pretty much set in domain of headcanon trivializing facts this anime presented.

    What we know is that against Flint Ash Buizel and Infernape lost miserably with just one attack being enough to faint them. Pikachu didn't fared much better either with Infernape being so strong that thunder and quick attack did no dmg to him. As well dispersing all of Ash Infernape attacks with its hands.
    Accompanied with fact of all Pikachu attacks being brutally overpowered.

    Even if we take in equation increase of Ash pokemon resistance, that improvement still wasn't big enough to expect lasting against Flint Infernape like they managed to do against Volkner pokemon. With Infernape needing 5 strong moves just to be knocked on the ground still not being enough to bring him down.

    Not to mention we have proof of Flint training consistently and working hard in preparing to challenge Cynthia as he directly confirmed in episode „Four roads diverged in a pokemon port!“ easily defeating Jasmine revealing more devastating moves such as overheat. So any improvement of Ash pokemon endurance becomes irrelevant, because Flint Infernape by time Ash faced Volkner was stronger as well.

    How exactly face expressions prove that Flint battled Ash with same intensity and strength like he battled Cynthia? That doesn't even make any sense.

    Unlike it was case when battling Cynthia in battle against Ash Flint had no reason to go at full force because there was nothing at stake there. As i mentioned before only reason why Flint even accepted battle was to help Volkner retrieve his interest for battles and seeing in Ash potential to do so.

    Needless to say Flint and Infernape grin looking like they played with Ash pokemon. In Infernape deliberately allowing that Pikachu hit him two times with quick attack(something they obviously weren't doing when facing Cynthia) smiling afterwards proves more than it doesn't how Flint wasn't taking whole battle too seriously.

    Im sorry but just because you choosed to believe how Bertha and Flint battled at maximum of their abilities against Ash using everything they got doesn't make it any more true.

    Judging by his age and Flint being in early twenties going on journey to become E4 at age of 20. Few years, give or take.
    But like i said before little you can learn and sharp your skills from that if majority of challengers were rookies or average trainers. Something Flint was well above before taking over the gym in first place being around same age like Flint was when that happened.

    Reason why Volkner stopped enjoying in battles was probably that. Bigt majority of challengers being weak trainers who were not even close to Ash skill level, Paul or other veteran trainers. But more so beginners and mediocre trainers from who you couldn't learn anything to begin with.

    Like i said before, Volkner becoming tired of battles does not mean him being so powerful that no challenger except E4 could give him run for his money. But more so that profile of trainers he fought against wasn't among lines of professionals, expert and promising young trainers like you would expect from candidates like Paul, Gary, Tobias, Ash, Tyson etc, etc.
    And in his growing frustration and anxiety he improved at slower rate and less favorably compared to Flint who experienced all kind of tournaments, found more powerful experts and bigger number of strong trainers to go against. With ex poacher himself stating in episode where they met Volkner how reason behind Flint journey was in order to develop bigger strength and power seeking for tougher challenges.

    Not to mention in Volkner lose of interest for battles he also himself did disfavor in not accepting challenges, due to trainers who would be able to give him run for its money and help him realize how to be more innovative thanks to their own author like techniques were missed upon as well.

    Such as Paul saying to Ash how going to Sunnyshore is waste of time.

    Rivals being equal in past doesn't mean they are gonna be equal in strength and abilities in future as well. Being perfectly possible that Flint during timespan when Volkner took over gym and he went on travels to become E4 managed to surpass him.

    Ash and Casey from Johto were rivals too, but she was several leagues below him. Ash is rival with Trevor, Tierno and Sawyer too, but they cannot even hold candle to him for now.
    Now im not saying situation with Volkner and Flint is that extreme, but compliments or not. Flint thinking positively of his friend and of his techniques as admiring. Does not mean they are good enough to be on pair with E4 members.

    With sheer power and incredible domination Flint displayed in battle against Jasmine or Ash revealing he is indeed more powerful than Volkner is managing to surpass him as trainer.
    In show it was never hinted, let alone said how Volkner is intending to challenge E4. Not to mention having intention of battling E4 does not equal challenger himself having required skills, strength, composure and knowledge to be ready for such task. Afterall Paul himself thought he was ready to challenge Brandon or Cynthia losing miserably and overestimating his power.
    Nevertheless Volkner intention of challenging E4 one day(only mentioned in games) can also be interpretated as planning to do that after going on journey to learn and develop more advanced and delicate battle styles allowing you to become more powerful and resourceful berore directly facing E4. Similar how Caitlin planned to become E4 prior to that going on journey in games to become stronger. Or how Flint followed same example as well directly knowing about that from anime canon.
    So no, thinking about challenging E4 does not indeed have to mean he was good enough to battle them at said point and time with current battle abilities.

    Especially when in anime his struggling against Ash who couldn't even scratch Flint and who was evidently weaker than Bertha suggest otherwise. With Volkner not being as far as im concerned even close to their level.

    Thats your interpretation of things, but way you perceived that battle and situation does not mean thats necessarily right conclusion.

    Because Volkner could had still have fun while battling at full strength. Because one can argue how Ash having so much problems in that match and needed abit of luck in order to defeat him could also come from Volkner not holding back. Hence the problems with Electivire, Volkner himself being impressed how Ash despite facing him when not holding back was able to already force him to use third pokemon etc.
    Being perfectly reasonable to assume how Volkner wanted to repay Ash for managing to restore his lost passion and interest for battles by giving him proper instead of artificial challenge. Being possible how he saw in Ash when facing Flint enough potential that he would be able in expecting hard and intense battle without having to restrain himself regardless of using Raichu or not.

    Because truth to be told Ash didn't used his strongest pokemon minus Pikachu there as well.

    There is nothing stupid about my claim of Bertha holding back against Ash either. Because based on Ash current level and fighting skills she obviously is able to recognize if someone is close to E4 level or not. Finding out his flaws through battle and ways for Ash to improve himself.
    Volkner not trying out anything else but directly going for ice punch as most effective attack to use vs Torterra should show you how he wasn't holding back not wanting to give Ash pokemon time to reorganize and recover.
    While with Bertha it was opposite with whole dodge and attack approach serving purpose of testing waters and if Ash will be able to understand meaning behind Bertha words and if he learned something from her talk or didn't. As well not resprting to Hippowdon strongest moves or most effective ones early in match unlike Volkner.
    Again Bertha not battling Ash at full force doesn't mean he wasn't able to give her challenge. It simply means he wasn't good enough to force her in revealing maximum of her strength believing there exists enough valid indicators to support this thinking.
    Just like there exist enough indication of making reasonable guess of Lorelei, Drake, Agatha or Flint Ash faced not giving everything they have in those battles either.

    Except stagnation was one of primary reasons behind Volkner becoming embittered and frustrasted losing interest in battles and realizing he wont gain anything from facing weak competition. Not being able to learn and improve as much like his friend Flint was able to.
    Except we know from several gym leaders examples how many of his age and older travel to develop new battle styles, batle tougher opponents and compete in tournaments in order to become stronger and prevent stagnation.

    You ask why Volkner wouldn't follow same example and go on journey from time to time as well? Answer is selfexplanatory sinc before meeting Ash he had zero interest in training and battling with pokemon anymore hence not having reason to seek for improvement. If this doesn't make him happy anymore.

    Something which was hinted to start changing before and after battle with Ash when Volkner said how he still has some unfinished work to do as gym leader, implying he may follow examples of Wallace, Koga, Cilan, Clemont, Fantina etc. Going on journey in near future to reach higher level as trainer.

    Lastly Volkner being strongest gym leader im pretty sure more so refers to Sinnoh region itself, rather than whole world. Technically Agatha could be considered strongest gym leader in world based on known gyms during time she was temporary replacement until new candidate would be enthrusted Viridian gym.

    Infernape being equal in strength to Ash most powerful pokemon is more so asssertion, not fact.
    Especially when candidates of Charizard, Snorlax, Sceptile were trained for longer time, entered more battles, had more time to build on their bond and relationship with Ash than Infernape did having overall more feats by which they can be measured. Or if not more having overall more impressive ones imo.

    We have no indication of Paul indeed being stronger trainer and more adaptive than Gary, since Gary quit pokemon trainer calling not working on unlocking even higher battling abilities. And even than he was still able to defeat with his Electivire Ash Pikachu at end of battle Frontier. Those same Pikachu who was able to defeat Brandon.

    Neddless to say Gary used his strongest pokemon against Ash(Blastoise)and overall best team or one of best he could assemble for that battle. While Paul in reality didn't leaving his best pokemon Torterra at home, alongside some what i would consider more impressive hitters like Ursaring or Magmortar compared to let say Ninjask or Gastrodon.

    To be fair there was no need for me to change my argument because i was arguing about there not existing indefinite, conclusive evidence of Ash Infernape losing if it wasn't for TR intervention from very start.
    Power blackoput at best delayed battle for literally few seconds which is hardly enough to be relevant at all. Because if Infernape was indeed in such shape that next hit would for sure knock him out, it would take alot longer to recover than mere few seconds.

    Especially when Flint himself was mistaken saying how under Blaze Infernape stamina and energy is so low that one more attack would be all over for Infernape. Yet that didn't happened when Infernape was able to endure Luxray thunder fang.
    All those examples of Charizard, Sceptile, Swellov, Pikachu etc matter, because in each of them way battle flowed indicated how it was all over for them thinking battle was already finished. Yet both to their and sometime even Ash surprise certain pokemon of his arsenal revealed such resistence and stubborness in being able to take more than its possible thanks to as i would say once again will power.
    Its also worth mentioning how when Luxray charged at Infernape, his body was twitching opening possibility of evading attack in last second. Wouldn't be first time we saw this happening with Ash pokemon.
    Accompanied with ignoring fact how after getting up Infernape was seemingly in better shape than it was in battle against Electivire from Paul. Not being able to even stand properly with blurred vision being on last legs there literally.

    But lets cut the chase and stop viewing things from anime universe. We know very well how whole incident with TR was writers trick to spice things up and make battle more intense, unpredictable.
    Being more so their intention of adding drama in battle to keep viewers at edge of their seats, rather than wanting to convince audience how if it wasn't for luck with power shutdown Ash was doomed there for sure and „could never win otherwise“.
    Interestingly enough this can be applied to many battles where stakes are high being one of simple and typical techniques in literature and narrative to build on suspense.

    In that case there has to exist unusually large group of such trainers who already won major tournaments or did more than impressive in big competitions. Who already managed to get recognized for their abilities and defeated several years older and experienced trainers by now. Not beng limited to just Ash and his rivals, but pretty much majority of traveling companions.

    Point is how physics and real life logic cannot be applied to fictional work and world like pokemon. Where limits in how much trainers will improve and at what speed isn't defined by logical growth curve we would expect in real life.

    But solely on how far and for what story purposes characters would be used.
    Hence why theory of trainers after some time reaching plateau with any further improvement being just cosmetic corrections, fine tuning of their skills falls in water.

    Especially in how large there exists gaps between gym leaders and E4 member or E4 members and champions.

    One of better examples is Flint who won league around Ash age, but still wasn't even close to E4 level. Managing to make suddenly massive and rapid improvement at age of 20 becoming possibly strongest E4 in Sinnoh currently. We reliably know he wasn't close to them judging by Propietor words. Explaining how prior to becoming E4 Flint went on rigorous training and solo journey to achieve greater strength and skill.
    Or trainers who until yesterday were rookies seeing them over night becoming already Ash level worthy competitors.

    Such as Trip in Junior World Cup.
    Or for more fresh example:

    Sawyer who in span of 18 episodes already won 4 badges and for who there exists reasonably high indication of quickly getting Sceptile mega evolving it.

    Ignored example of Korrina who already pretty much had incredibly high bond and trust with Lucario. Suddenly making quick and massive improvement in putting their bond and understanding to much higher level than it was before rediscovering themselves.

    As well ignoring conditional probabilities. Such as how talented someone is, speed of his/her improvement, proficiency in learning new things and sense for innovation. With not every trainer improving at same speed with many never even becoming better than average.

    Proficiency of language had nothing to do with what i wanted to point out with this example. But more so diversity of options in how already fluent languge speaker can increase its knowedge adjusting to new fields and branches of certain language he studies and observes. In once again rapid and big improvement like it used to be case when just dealing with basics.

    With learning aspect of certain subject following in theory linear curve not having limit in how much you can learn.

    Just like pokemon trainers when facing new discoveries and features like new transformations, upgrades coming in form of mega evolution, new format competitions such as double or triple battles, newly discovered techniques your pokemon may be capable of learning even when theyre already highly skilled have to adjust to new circuimstances, reach new level of understanding of their pokemon working like one. Push their skills and strategies to higher, more sophisticated levels and most importantly actually learn how to canalize new massive power boost their pokemon experienced in optimal way.

    Key to everything is learning and gaining knowledge.
    Point was to emphasize on difference between way in which athletes grow and pokemon trainers being conditioned by vastly different circumstances. Whose development isn't exactly similar to their progression.

    It was literally showed and said how Cynthia defeated Lucian and Aaron from E4 easily not standing chance against her. Infact in Aaron case it was commented by Ash and others based on how quickly he lost, how while he may be good enough to be E4 member., He still isn't nowhere near to champion level.

    So as a matter of fact, yes there can exist huge gaps between champions and E4 members as well.
    Another proof is battle between Diantha and Wilkstrom who despite using mega evolved Scizor lost very quickly and easily. Regardless of his ranking in games.

    Or Tobias for that matter destroying all gym leaders in Sinnoh with just Darkrai(Ash himself with reserves managed to take down this pokemon, something no gym leader was able to do), not being able to overcome E4 members and Cynthia. Since she was still obviously champion in Unova.

    With differences in power gap between high level trainers not being so minimal as you seem to think.
    Hence why all this talk about certain gym leaders being on E4 level, or Frontier Brains being champion material is not really true.

    With anime and games establishing how later are top 4 trainers in specific region right below champion revealing to be much tougher, more cunning and ridiculously strong opponents compared to anything any gym leader ever demonstrated.

    Cynthia battle vs Palmer proves nothing, because:
    -we never seen whole battle played out
    -Milotic so called „outplaying Garchomp“ is not true in slightest. Barely delivering any damage to Cynthia pokemon. Blocking Garchomp move is nothing special considering it used protect to do that(on other hand Flint Infernape didn't needed any moves to repell opponent techniques). And i fail to see how exactly ice beam being equal with Garchomp flamethrower means anything.
    Considering how numerous times it was seen generally weaker techniques being equal to stronger ones. Such as Corphish bubble countering hyper beam. Oshawott water gun doing same thing.

    Or even collision of attacks of same specie somehow being equal in power despite one of them being way more powerful and fully evolved. One of examples was from Misty Poliwhirl battling Delaney Poliwrath with both water guns being somehow same in power. Despite Poliwrath quickly defeating Poliwhirl being way stronger.
    Collision of attacks being tied dont tell anything about who is stronger pokemon or not in most cases honestly.
    -for all we know match could have been exhibition like it was case with Caitlin

    I cannot even take seriously stament of Palmer being on Cynthia level at all.

    I get what your saying but im not agreeing with it, for simple reason of your comparison not being applicable in this case. Both because pokemon trainers growth and how fast they improve is more so conditioned by pokemon themselves and unlocking of unknown and secret powers.Being basically limitless in how much stronger pokemon their trainers work with can become.

    Just mastering mega evolution alone is sudden, quick and massive improvement. Revealing how even those highly exceptional and skilled trainers can thanks to new discoveries push their bond and skills toward much higher level, just like they did when comprehending basics. No matter what age they are.

    Needless to say learning of new techniques, variety in moves and strategy is almost unlimited with there existing huge gaps in knowledge, skill and and strength even among trainers who could be considered as „best among best“.

    As evidenced in possibility of big power creep prevailing even between E4 members and champions themselves.With even best trainers constantly traveling and seeking for new ways to improve their resourcefulness and knowledge reaching more complex ways of training and battling with pokemon.

    Response to 5th section of your post is abit different(cant quote anymore because limit would be breaked):

    Regarding Cynthia and Caitlin exhibition battle:

    Exactly because of rewatching battle refreshing my memory im disagreeing with you. Because based on Caitlin and Cynthia conversation weived with numerous compliments on both sides. Caitlin and Cynthia encouraging their pokemon to perform attacks with elegance. Lack of any real tension and heated atmosphere you would expect from serious battle where challenger is trying to defeat champion at all costs. Like we get to see with Flint.
    Time limit? Pokemon coming out of pokeballs with rose petals and sparkles?
    It was basically pseudo version of contest battle with even use of attacks like thunder or dragon meteor being done in flashy way.

    Its more than obvious how that wasnt serious battle where two trainers go at each other with everything they got with their primary mission being to entertain audience and not make introduction battle to Junior Cup boring or one sided. Hence the term „exhibition match“.

    About Brandon pokemon:

    Unless you believe Dusclops is just as strong as Brandon legendary golems, than no his regular pokemon are not match for E4 members.
    And i believe i provided more than enough logical explanation in how Brandon skills can be considered as weaker than those from E4 members or champion. If in order to stand up against them and regular pokemon they use he has to resort to legendary pokemon.
    Compensating for possible lack of creativity, perception and skill through use of pokemon which are generally faster, more resistant and stronger than ordinary pokemon species. Thats same like let just say for example sake giving average swordsman real steel sword as opposed to seasoned veteran who is facing him with wooden replica.

    Making it question how much of an even bigger threat and challenge would be E4 mermbers if they used legendary pokemon themselves.

    About Palmer strength:

    I wasn't equating Palmer strength to Paul and im sorry if you got wrong impression. I merely used Paul example of his Torterra managing to damage champion pokemon as example to demonstrate how trainer managing to deliver successful hit to trainer who is leagues above you damaging it. Does not mean that trainer is indeed on level of high class expert.

    As for „Palmer Milotic outplaying Garchomp“, its explained above why this theory as far as im concerned cannot be entertained.

    About Pikachu static:

    Your not taking in account one important factor in there. If writers were more consistent with Ash character development and faithful with previously accumulated knowledge and experience he wouldn't made situation more difficult for himself in that battle. By ordering electric moves against pokemon species he battled several times in past and those moves never worked only increasing their speed and power. Such as whole motor drive and ability to absorb electricity Electabuzz line is known for.

    Clair and Dragonair:

    I already explained above why Dragonair could be considered as Clair best pokemon at that time. Delivering far more problems to Ash reserves with its incredible speed ansd strength than two pokemon Clair generally utilized more often in her battles says alot.

    With its rarity, special powers and legendary strength making it highly tough opponent posessing certain abilities not even evolved form has. We already know Clair didn't had Dragonite, let alone Druddigon at that time. So its not like she was hiding whole army of super powerful dragons out there, even more so when in first and second generation only known dragons were basically just Dratini line. Being possible to make reasonable conclusion of probably Gyarados being her main battler until Dragonair came in scene.

    Battle vs Blaine:

    Thats rather poor argument, because before that Charizard never entered proper battle., Being impossible to estimate what is he capable of doing and how strong he really is thanks to disobedience problems, aside from that skirmish with Aerodactyl.

    So i would say what Charizard demonstrated when facing Blaine was more so true representation of its current strength, rather than one time thing in magically becoming much more powerful than it was in reality for that battle only.
    No matter how we slice this Blaine definitely tried to win at all costs battling at full strength, yet his best pokemon was defeated by Charizard who definitely wasn't on level he would reach in future sagas.

    As for Giovanni im only mentioning him to point out how his posession of Mewtwo didn't said much about his true abilities he has as trainer given the circumstances and approach through which this pokemon was working for him.

    Not like im devaluing his skills, because as head of possibly most powerful villain organization in world and his Persian very easily defeating Ash Pikachu definitely works in his favor.
    But what was showed with Mewtwo when destroying challengers was not accurate and realistic portrayal of what his true skills were at that time.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  4. U.N. Owen

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

    Having the whole "to be a master" mantra over eight hundred episodes is like filling an ocean with only one drop of water. It's not refreshing; it's boring. He is a flat and shallow character in humungous cast of much better characters. It just makes him look stale in comparison.
  5. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    Just tried to answer this question, then you'll know who is Ash Ketchum:
    Not including what he had ever achieved within his lifetime, which and how many person he had relationship with, what pokemons he had caught and which one are with him currently, explain what kind of person Ash Ketchum is.

    To be fair, I can explain Ash's character in just one sentence, which is "a bald-faced energetic youngster always daydreaming to become a Pokemon Master". That's it, that is all he was in the past and still all he is in the present, there are no other backgrounds and critical traits to deepen his characteristics. Without any of those "externalities" that were being added onto him like sticker tags according to the staff's preferences, he is rather an empty character.
  6. Mrs. Oreo

    Mrs. Oreo Banned

    I just wish we'd get a solid definition of what a Pokemon master really is cuz so far we haven't been told what the prerequisites are.
  7. Aegiscalibur

    Aegiscalibur Add Witty Title Here

    If Ash is interesting simply because he can progress, then literally anyone should be interesting in the same situation regardless of personality. Are we supposed to find every generic shonen protagonist interesting just because they have an arbitrary goal and are advancing towards it?

    Yes, people do what they do because they like what they like, but if we never looked further into it, fiction would be pretty boring.
  8. thor94

    thor94 Well-Known Member

    right. Ash is empty character: just an hyperactive moron without brain wanting become pokemon master and barely improved in 6 generations.
    misty, dawn, may, serena, clemont, iris, jessie, james, meowth. We know far more about their backstory than ash's.
    the only thing we know about ash in childhood is he met serena in a summer camps and get angry with gary during some fishing scene (pretty uninteresting)
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  9. Lol.

    Ash is there to keep the series going. Despite that he didn't catch all the pokemon and all that, he's pretty energetic and very determined in going far in his journey. So I wouldn't expect him to have a deep personality. That's how the anime continues running, I guess lol
  10. U.N. Owen

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

    This should not be an excuse to be a flat character. The entire cast of Digimon Tamers got more character depth and development in the span of 50 episodes than Pokemon did in over 500.
  11. Janovy

    Janovy Banned

    That's an overstatement.

    Ash did get development but there's only so much development you can get when your protagonist doesn't age in a series spanning over 1000 episodes.

    it's also unfair to compare it to Tamers since Tamers only got 50 episodes. If Tamers had over 1000 episodes with same protagonists who never aged you can be sure they'd pretty much become the same as Ash.
  12. Red and Blue

    Red and Blue Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't call it an overstatement at all. There are plenty of long running shows that have well rounded characters. I can think of plenty of ways the writers could have made Ash a far more deeper and interesting character and still have the anime run as long as it does now
  13. Janovy

    Janovy Banned

    There's only so much depth you can give to a 10-year old. Just saying.

    And I repeat: he is ten. I don't know what else you expect.
  14. Red and Blue

    Red and Blue Well-Known Member

    Go back to Owen's comment about Tamers. Those characters were around the same age as Ash

    Besides age is hardly an excuse
  15. U.N. Owen

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

    My point is that a character should develop and/or get some backstory over the course of the series. With a series that has outlived the creator, I expect more than "battles, traveling, friendship, and food." The only exception I can think of is if the series has absolutely no kind of continuity.
  16. thor94

    thor94 Well-Known Member

    conan/shinishi in detective conan, never aged in 800 episodes too, but that didn't prevent him has deep and interesting character development.

    all ash travelling friend were 10 too, but has pretty good backstory and character development.
  17. Janovy

    Janovy Banned

    Oh GOD, Conan is hardly a good example. He got TURNED into a kid.
  18. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    It is unfair and incomparable to Digimon series because it runs on a complete different format. If you do have to compare, rather use other long running series that also had over +300 episodes. Such as Dragonball, Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Detective Conan, etc.

    First and foremost, all those above-mentioned long running series seldom has one-shot CotD (except Detective Conan). I do admit there does exists filler episodes that doesn't add much to the overall story plots, but still those "fillers" are unlike Pokemon Anime's, which most are woven into the in-story "off-hours". Yeah it is skippable, but you may argue that it also forms part of the overall large story.

    As for one example of Dragonball, I'll have to say the protagonist Goku was rather a flat and simple character (Sorry to the fans of him. I'm simply stating my personal viewpoint), as there is not much background story behinds him. Therefore on the contrast, Dragonball rather had its story focused on other characters as well. The protagonist Goku, if you do have to count his focusing episodes and his own contribution to the overall story, it is actually much much MUCH less than you imagined. Yeah, because if you simply focus everything on Goku, there was in fact not much story to tell. That's why Dragonball balanced out by fleshing out other characters, let other characters do something important as well, let other be part of the overall story, let other characters contribute just as much as the protagonist. That's why, despite Goku is not my favourite protagonist, I was never bored in watching the Dragonball anime, because the show is not entirely focused on him. Without the help of many other characters, Goku in fact was unable to save the world for so many times.

    In the case of Detective Conan, one may argue it is in the similar format as the current Pokemon Anime, as it features the CotD and the event of the week where it is Conan to solve the mystery. However, unlike Pokemon Anime, because Conan is not traveling nor having any dream nor aiming at any specific goal, that's why the format of Mystery of the Week works. Of course there still left the biggest mystery of "That Organization" which is the main culprit that turned Kudou Shinichi into a kid, and it continues to build up frustration within the Conan fandom as this biggest mystery continues to be unsolved year after years. But, because there is no deadline or time limit such as those like the Pokemon game series sales date where the Pokemon Anime is confined to, it allowed that biggest mystery of Conan to postpone indefinitely until the staffs and/or original author finally feels like it is time to terminate the story. (Yeah, although then frustration still continues to grow......)
    And I forget to say, despite Detective Conan's story structure is simply focusing on the mystery of the week, but I personally found Kudou Shinichi (aka Edokawa Conan) is more developed than Ash Ketchum. Not really meaning interesting because Conan is not the type I enjoyed, but I do think he is a well-rounded character that is mentally relatable, he is a standalone character that can produce story arc even on his own.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  19. Mrs. Oreo

    Mrs. Oreo Banned

    Well this anime has had some continuity issues as we saw in Best wishes especially but thankfully things have improved ever since X&Y began.
  20. U.N. Owen

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

    The continuity issues started with the movies and how some managed to fit into canon while others didn't. Mewtwo and Darkrai was also canon because the latter had an appearance prior to the movie while the former had the lunar wing appear.
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