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Is Mallow character necessary for SM anime cast?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Hanto, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Hanto

    Hanto Water Addiction

    As we know every character on the main cast of SM anime has its role: Ash is protagonist, Lilie is deuteragonist, Kiawe is passionate battler, Lana is action girl, Sophocles is scientist and smart kid. However, Mallow doesnt have any role (excluding being older sister to Lilie in early episodes) and now, when everyone has a clear goal and accomplishments, she have got a short end of stick. Her episodes are the blandest ones, her pokemon have got the underserved evolution and no battle- and screentime, she cant even blast off Team Rocket by myself (even Serena can!). While Lilie and Lana has their own battles and achievments (Z-crystalls, Z-ring, Ice Stone), Sophocles has second pokemon and nice minor things (flashbacks, science moments, inventions to help anothers) - she lacks everything. Girl is pretty stagnant and now she doesnt have a room to grow: bounsweet is fully evolved and I doubt she will receive a second capture (chances with Bulbasaur or Eevee to promote LGPE is low).
    Would it be better to have her as character of the day or arc, just like Acerola, Ilima, Korrina etc?
    Slapstick-Olivia likes this.
  2. satopi

    satopi All hail Satomine Night!

    Mao chan is necessary. She's more useful than her own partner Pokemon!
  3. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    Mallow does seem by far the most dispensable, and she is the one I am actually getting dissatisfied with to the point of actual frustration.

    Ash is AWESOME this series (if maybe a bit of a spotlight hog), and while Kiawe's had only three episodes to himself, his personality and niches make him a great supporting character many times over, especially with his entertaining Pokemon.

    Lillie and Sophocles are pretty stagnant, but both they and their Pokemon are very likeable and most of their episodes do their characters justice. They also get at least a few decent displays as supporting characters and their 'brainy younger sibling' chemistry with Ash. Lana I'm split down the middle, Popplio's kinda bland and Lana doesn't seem to really connect with anyone, though I will relent her episodes are usually decent.

    In basic terms all of these characters, while not nearly used to their fullest potential, have palpable times to prove they can be FUN and help drive the plot forward.

    Mallow's episodes have a tendency to be formulaic and avoid putting much character agency into her in favour of generic irrelevant and often incredibly dumbed down things like Team Rocket beatdowns. Only one episode focused fully on her goal and even that was padded with her more bombastic brother. Her Pokemon is completely flat and unlikeable and usually serves as dead weight outside when it's time to get a plot armoured boost. Even besides that she contributes the least, both in terms of usefulness and actual enjoyment, since she actually does a minimal amount of comedy (I don't think the writers like having too much at the expense of the cute little girls of the show anymore, besides Lillie, perhaps why she's so endearing). Even in group episodes, she usually gets the scraps of involvement and rarely takes part in the wilder plots. She had smidgeons of chemistry with characters such as Ash and Lillie in early episodes, though that's gradually fizzled out.

    I mean, even DP Brock had some funny comic relief and a couple entertaining Pokemon.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
    Twilight-Kun likes this.
  4. Cyb3r4c3DS

    Cyb3r4c3DS Member

    Honestly I feel none of them are really minus Lillie and Kiwae. WITH THAT SAID
    I mean that as the way they are. If SUMO had been a series with a group that was just Ash,Lillie and Kiwae with the travelling aspect but had the others as rivals or actual trail captains would be interesting. Heck Mallow could have been a legit rival for Ash since his one with Bianca never seemed to go anywhere.
    MockingJ and KenzeyEevee like this.
  5. lolipiece

    lolipiece It's a fish eat fish world out there Staff Member Moderator

    Mallow, like Sophocles, is a support character. She's not meant to be one of the more heavily-focused characters. She cooks for characters and is usually the one who shows concern when people are feeling down.

    Her role is still the big sister, and it's not just for Lillie. She's been cool to the entire cast, though I struggle to remember anything for Kiawe. The scene in episode 80 where she mentions how happy she is to see people eat her food is a recent example of that.

    Mallow has a goal: to make her restaurant successful. It's not the greatest goal (arguably), but it is still a goal.

    Team Rocket barely blasts off as-is to begin with. Not really her fault here.
    matt0044, satopi and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  6. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    I think the problem is that, besides providing food, nearly everything Mallow does is usually done in a more effective and enjoyable way by one of the other characters.

    Ash plays the 'compassionate older sibling' role more efficiently than Mallow, especially due to his physical assistance and greater degree of quirks and proactivity. Lillie has blatantly latched closer onto Ash as his 'little sister' now.

    She has a more defined goal than most of the others, but unfortunately the show does very little develop it or make it interesting. Kiawe's own employment with his farm has at least got the odd moment of limelight and substance, and being used in humorous ways in incidental roles (eg. milk bottle screwing of all things coming in handy during the Charjabug race).

    Comedy is provided better by practically all five characters, with Mallow seldom doing slapstick or having anything at her expense (and Tsareena's abusive running gag with Rowlet is annoying). Any 'wacky antic' plot she's usually not getting too involved in besides as an unscathed straight man. Least amount of humour, least amount of pathos.

    Even in terms of the TR plots, the others at least have the odd diverse one where TR work in the background or force the twerps to do something mildly clever according to their character, while all of Mallow's episodes not only use TR but use them at their most formulaic and unintuitive (eg. TR ambushes, DEM/plot armour boost occurs, Mallow beats down TR without them remotely putting up a fight, Bewear comes, exit). They are blatantly there merely to just cut off the plot when Mallow becomes too boring to hold it together.

    Hell even regards to uselessness, the others have actually had it limelighted more in terms of proper character fallibility or an unnegated inability to do something, with them and their Pokemon suffering the odd beatdown and humiliation, or even being reduced to a damsel in distress, while with Mallow they tend to shirk from putting her in any 'loser' roles that risk demonstrating her incapabilities (eg. solely fighting Team Rocket's Meowth, about the one opponent Steenee would look like an unstoppable badass against). Every sympathetic character has to be a vulnerable loser at least once.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  7. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Nighttime Guardian

    Difficult question. I don't think she harms the series as she is now, I don't think it'd be any better if she wasn't in it. I think Mallow does provide moral support and helps glue together dialogue in a somewhat more mature way than Ash usually can. In episodes focused on other characters like the PokéSled episode and the Alolan Sandshrew episode she does pretty well. Her main problem in my mind is that the episodes where she gets focus she doesn't really manage to maintain the spotlight. It either gets interrupted by a very generic Team Rocket encounter or by her brother and I'm not sure why that only happens on her episodes. I do think she has enough potential to hold episodes herself and give her some agency and depth, but the writers just don't really grab that potential. For instance the dancing episode could've had more depth if they hadn't split the focus down the middle between Team Rocket and the dancing plot.
  8. AznKei

    AznKei Rabi-Ribi's Cocoa is cute! ^_^

    I like the positive vibe and the happy attitude of Mallow. Though, it would be cool if she has a rival, mostly about another restaurant competing against hers, that I would like to see. I would even like to see her interacting with Serena since she can do Pokepuffs, and there's no mention of them so far in Alola.
  9. Pokegirl Fan~

    Pokegirl Fan~ The Mischievous One

    She's as relevant as all the other 3rd and 4th wheel companions and those characters didn't do much either, especially Clemont after his gym battle with Ash.

    I also find her more necessary than Serena was tbh.
    satopi likes this.
  10. Dragalge

    Dragalge Still eyecatchy

    What is Sophocles’ goal even? Because if he has one then it’s been unexplored, forgettable, or both.
    KenzeyEevee and Pokegirl Fan~ like this.
  11. Darthlord7

    Darthlord7 King of Knights

    He said he wants to become an astronaut in the last Lillie-focused episode but that sounded more like "what do you want to become when you grow up".
  12. Slapstick-Olivia

    Slapstick-Olivia Well-Known Member

    I sadly have to say no. It really seems for my at least that she is only their to balance the genders in the group. We have three boys, their for we needed also three girls. This wouldn't be that big of an issue, but the big problem with Mallow is that she doesn't have an own image of her own. She is just a nice girl, but the problem is that been nice, cheerful is a character trade that pretty much every other cast members has.

    Mallow really has nothing going on for her. She really needed to have an image for her own. Ash is the naive one of the group, Kiawe the hard working farmer, Lillie has a troubled past with her family, Lana is a bit of a weird action girl sometimes and Sophocles is a nerd.

    Mallow really lacks an image of her own. She has nothing really that separates her from other secondary characters or even background characters if I dare say. not even her design stick out that much, because she was the same body build like most other girls in the anime. The only difference is that she is slight taller than most other girls. And is sadly all I can say about her.

    If she just had something small to let her stick out a bit more. Maybe the image of getting in ridiculous slapstick kinda like Olivia, or her own running gag or just something unique that she can clam as her own.

    She is not an unlikable character or an annoying character she ist just a character that is their. She exists and that sadly everything I will remember from her. She exited.
    MockingJ likes this.
  13. Hanto

    Hanto Water Addiction

    It would be nice if she captured that recurring wild Oranguru before Steenee evolves. We would have another situation with disobidient pokemon (no such a pokemon in SM anime so far) and inexperienced trainer, however, instead of hot-tempered and irate Mamoswine, Dragonite, Excadrill and Charizard we will have a pretty calm and mean psychic type. The ape could easily work at Aina Cafeteria and have nice interaction with another pokemon, but just ignore Mallow in battles and maybe another situations (hilarious if it uses Instruct on her to make a better recipe for new dish or something like that).
  14. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    One thing I think is lost potential is the very fact Ash obsoletes some characters like Mallow. In this series he actually immersed himself in an already established group. Before then Kiawe was the powerhouse and Z Move master, and Mallow was the plucky heart of the group and Lillie's 'older sibling', but then Ash came and kinda eclipsed them both.

    Kiawe would have likely been a good contender for resentment early on given his pride, but I can see him at this point not minding so much since he has a rival now and their foliage still kinda presents them as equals. Sophocles could have been similar, being a physically unfit Electric type specialist eclipsed by Ash and Pikachu, but again he has a bro chemistry and he focuses more on utilities that Ash doesn't render redundant like smarts and tech, again keeping them equal. Ash doesn't even have a water type to eclipse Lana this series (and certainly isn't outdoing her in her own niches like fishing), and Lillie by all means idolises Ash for his mastery while still playing a strategic researcher to assist his capable brawn.

    Sure, Ash isn't much of a cook either, but the very fact Mallow is kinda getting sidelined however could have made an interesting play on this premise, especially since we've seen that Mallow in spite of her niceness, has a hidden temper and can get very frustrated when she thinks she isn't being appreciated. But alas they don't really seem to grasp a flawed vulnerable side to Mallow's character that much. In fact we don't see much vitriol between the main cast at all.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  15. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    Mao's not particularly integral to the plot, but I don't think she's a burden either. She provides a positive vibe however, which is why I like her character; I just wish she'd develop more.
    MockingJ and FlygontheRavager like this.
  16. Ignition

    Ignition Well-Known Member

    She's still necessary as she's the sweet yet sassy sister for the cast. She adds a lot with dynamics with other characters such as Lillie. She's also the only tolerable PokéGirl on the cast so there's that.
    DuquÊ? and Cyb3r4c3DS like this.
  17. cmarston1

    cmarston1 Animation Enthusiast

    Let's be honest with ourselves, she really isn't.
    As much crap as this fandom gives DP Brock, at the very least he was responsible for making sure Dawn and Ash didn't starve. But given that SM isn't a traveling focused saga, Mallow can't even manage to do that.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    MockingJ and LilligantLewis like this.
  18. KenzeyEevee

    KenzeyEevee The Realistic male Eevee

    Yeah you could easily give Mallows role to Sophy
  19. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    The problem is that Kiawe and Kukui serve as the Team Dad that offer important exposition and try to keep dysfunction from going on (while still having an underlying wacky side themselves). Ash is also often the warmth of the team and serves as an inspirational older sibling, something that also seems more effective because it's working against his usually clownish persona (or sometimes with it, it's obvious some connect with Ash because he's still a fallible guy that can make them laugh). Mallow seems a bit underplayed in both negative and positive, she's somewhat less effective in the nurturing elements and also lacks as many quirks to give it some sort of charm. There's a few too many times where Mallow says or does something and you think another character could have took that role and gave it more personality.

    I think it's a shame they didn't actually try to make Mallow more of the leader like they implied earlier. Ash is the main character and powerhouse but he seems fine taking directions from other people when they have a better idea what's going on, eg. cooperating with Kiawe battle wise, or following strategy ideas from Lillie and Sophocles, thus he works just as well as a supporting character. Having Mallow lead the team could give her more distinction, and possibly also give her more daunting challenges since everyone would be in her care.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    Leonhart likes this.
  20. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    I'm actually glad that Satoshi and his friends aren't completely dependent on Mao's cooking skills. I find it refreshing that Satoshi can find other ways to eat without Mao as his personal chef.

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