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Paul: Emotionless drone or a deluxe rival?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Grey Wind, May 13, 2012.

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  1. Grey Wind

    Grey Wind Only rescues maidens

    This brings a lot of debate to the fandom, so keep your pants on. Did you think Paul was a good rival, or a poorly written "dud"?

    While Paul certainly had his problems, I think he was one of the better rivals on the show. I mean, what had we before him? Gary, the rarely appearing rival with little or no story? Morrison/Harrison/Tyson, the league-only rivals? While he himself may not have been super fab, he was a hell of a lot better than the rest of them.

    He was still a pretty good character, at least. The Chimchar story was well done in my opinion, and Infernape's growth was great to watch, and we hadn't had anything like that on the show before. Even though he was very one-dimensional, I still enjoyed him. He did generally the same thing every-time he appeared, but I still really wanted Ash to kick his *** in the league. I'm doing a horrendous job of explaining why I liked him, but you get the picture. Hopefully.

    So yeah. Paul: Yay or nay?

    (yay AgentPierce you can keep all of your Paul talk in here now!)
     
  2. AgentPierce

    AgentPierce Mad science FTW!

    Thanks for the invitation; I'll gladly take it.

    Yes, Paul was extremely boring. He showed a total of three emotional expressions, barely reacted to anything like a kid realistically should, was a horrific jerkass yet never got much in the way of comeuppance for it and barely developed past this personality, had an incredibly tacked-on backstory, and engaged in the same dull argument with Ash over and over again every single time they met. "My training methods are better than your's!" People in this fandom who honestly think THIS is deep and engaging stuff need to read/watch more fiction.

    OK, what? Combining Kanto and Johto, Gary clearly DID have a story: much more of one than Paul did, and with actual development to Gary's character in it too.

    And he only "rarely appeared" in Johto. His appearances were actually pretty evenly spread in Kanto. Paul had more only because D/P was horribly long and could afford it.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
    moneylesswario likes this.
  3. I am Lu

    I am Lu Well-Known Member

    I actually think Paul is one of the better-developed rivals. That's certainly not to say I don't like Gary; he received development too. I feel like writers kind of dropped the ball on Gary's character, though. He was this awesome childhood rival to Ash in the series' beginning, but suddenly he randomly decided he wanted to be a Pokemon Professor and everything started going downhill from there. It's like everything he wanted to do beforehand never even mattered. Furthermore, in DP, he made this jump from Ash's bitter rival to like his best friend with no real explanation.

    Paul didn't make such drastic jumps (and if he appears again, I hope the same thing doesn't happen and he suddenly becomes Ash's BFF), but I still saw a change in him from his first appearance in DP 1 to his last appearance in the Sinnoh League. He came to respect Ash while still maintaining his standoffish attitude (i.e. not sudden best friends) and for the first time actually thanked his Pokemon for a job well done after a loss rather than just getting angry.

    Then there was that whole thing with Reggie and Brandon and Paul needing to learn to control his own emotions during battle. The only thing that's really missing is finding out whether Paul made the growth required to defeat Brandon or not. That would've brought his story full circle and to a good close. Instead, audiences were kind of left hanging.

    So yes, despite Paul's flaws as a character, I think in terms of Pokemon character development (which, let's be honest, is not that great on any level) he was a pretty good rival.
     
  4. Yeul

    Yeul Green Eyed Girl

    He was a sadistic bully with few (lol) redeeming qualities, at least Lightning had Serah to keep her in check. But, what he provided was battles, glorious battles, something to satiate the bloodlusting fanbase and get our minds off of silly Dawn and her drama. If only he could be a bit nicer about it, though.
     
  5. Spider-Phoenix

    Spider-Phoenix Go, Go Power Rangers

    Well, as a rival, I'd say he was handled well *most* of the time. But I agree that, as a character, he had some flaws such as sometimes being portrayed as "unbeatable" or even too much of an "arrogant idiot".
     
  6. The Shiny Gengar

    The Shiny Gengar Magically Delicious

    Paul is probably my second favorite rival of Ash's third favorite rival in general (After Harley and Morrison) I always found him ironic, because he symbolizes the player, more so in the first part of D&P, he released Pokemon if their stats weren't good enough, and would give up on training them if he felt he wasn't getting anywhere with them. But seeing how his change in heart at the end of that saga was nice, I really enjoyed it.
     
  7. DMerle

    DMerle Guess who's back

    Ok i'm gonna warn you right now i'm going to get really opionated here =p

    In my opinion Paul was Ash's best rival (also my favorite anime character, ever.) The reason why so many people didn't like him was his lack of emotion or cruelty he showed towards his pokemon. One thing you can't say about him was that he wasn't one of the most inititive battlers the anime has ever had on it, he went above and beyond to experiment with different styles/combinations, everything he went through he took and added to his mental arsenel of strategies. As for his treatment of his Pokemon he didn't treat them cruelly all he ever had was a lack of empaphy with them, he never did anything deliberately cruel or out of spite, he was kind of like an army seargant in that he had a strict training plan. His "lack of emotion" was also one of the things that helped him in his battle, he didn't let his emotions get the better of him (or tried not too.) Sure he could be callous and mean to people when he wanted to be but hell you've got to admit even if you hate him that he was incredibly strong trainer with a unique look on battling and pokemon. Ever since i saw him scanning the Starly's to find out which had the better level/moveset i was drawn to him as a character and then shortly after when he captures and releases the Stantler and Ursaring i felt even more so, it was his "lack of emotion" that helped him to stay calm and confront the Ursaring and subsequently capture it while everyone else ran off screaming.
     
    PokemonBattleFanatic- likes this.
  8. sereb devil

    sereb devil Banned

    Gary might not have appear that much in Kanto and Johto ,but he was one of the greatest badass original series rivals that the entire show ever had. Paul don't even come close of being a great rival because his personality was more about him being jerky ,cruel,and a total idiot. DP pretty ruin Gary's character by having him become a lame pokemon professor,he had the best bully badboy type personality and even though he didn't appear that much in Johto he was still a cool pokemon trainer. Gary's story was more original and done more realistic then Paul's,too bad Gary stop being a pokemon trainer because it all goes downhill from there on out.
     
  9. LilyTwo

    LilyTwo Well-Known Member

    Paul is the biggest failure of a character the Pokemon anime ever had.

    He's an arrogant, heartless, hypocritical bully who abuses and overworks his Pokemon for his own personal glory, treats everyone like crap just to feel good about himself (the bit about him respecting people like Cynthia, his brother or Nurse Joy is nothing but an informed ability), and generally makes the anime unpleasant to watch (as whenever he's onscreen, all fun and humour fade away).

    And then he makes a sudden change of heart in the Sinnoh League and everything he did to Chimchar, Maylene, Ash and who knows how many people and Pokemon is instantly forgotten. Really, his development made no sense at all and was only done in order for Atsuhiro Tomioka not to have a reason to punish Paul for his pointless cruelty. Don't get me started on the whole "everyone has his own training style and there's nothing wrong with it" part...

    So yeah, this is what I think: Paul is a bastard. Always has been, always will be.

    And I say this change was completely random and unjustified. Nothing had happened to him that would seriously bring him to change his outlook. It would have been much more in character of him to be angry and feel humiliated at losing to a "worthless" trainer like Ash.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  10. RWB

    RWB Dragon busted by Her

    1. He's not an abuser. You'd have a far stronger case for Ash being one in Kanto than Paul being one. He's a coach, and a strict one.
    2. He's not a bully. His comment to Maylene was rude, but commenting on one's strength does not equal bully. She really did fight horribly against him.

    I can understand not liking Paul. Heck, he's not even meant to be likable. But the "Abuser"/"Bully" shouting in regards to him is horrible.
     
    PokemonBattleFanatic- likes this.
  11. JennaJayfeather

    JennaJayfeather jflkdjkfgjafgaf

    While I love to tease Paul to bits, I have to admit he didn't turn out like I wanted. I wanted him to be a bit deeper and not just be this powerful, jerk trainer. I wanted him to become nicer through Ash and he didn't change much. Instead he just gained respect for Ash and his training methods. :x I still like him though and everything. XD
     
  12. DMerle

    DMerle Guess who's back

    He did gain respect for Ash, you saw it when he found out about him defeating the Pyramid King that Paul was suprised, and shortly after there 6v6 battle when he won he even said to his brother that it was a great battle. People were expecting him to change completely into Ash mark 2 and that was just never going to happen, gaining respect for Ash was the most we could ever hope for realisticly. Hell when he lost against Ash's infernape you saw him congratulate his Electivire for a good job, something which up to this point he had never done for any of his pokemon obviously he didn't do a full turn-around into someone who was super sweet with his pokemon but he did evolve as a trainer, one of his best traits was taking everything that happened to him and applying it to his battle-style.
     
  13. MidnightMelody

    MidnightMelody Hopeful for Gen 8

    Still better then Trip pfftttt


    I love how the Paul bashers are coming out after DP ended XD
     
  14. LilyTwo

    LilyTwo Well-Known Member

    Then what do you call having all of his Pokemon beat up Chimchar before the big event? I call that "abuse", and he's probably done it to several other Pokemon he had. Before dumping them because they were "worthless", that is.

    What point did his comment to Maylene have other than wanting to hurt the girl? It was gratuitous cruelty, pure and simple.

    So yes, I will say that he's an abuser, a bully and an hypocrite.
     
  15. JennaJayfeather

    JennaJayfeather jflkdjkfgjafgaf

    T_T Yeah, but I wanted him to become Ash's best friend. I'm probably forgetting somethings, as I haven't watched DP in ages. :p
     
  16. SimH8

    SimH8 Well-Known Member

    I thought he was awesome. His hate-ability made him likeable and I found him a very interesting character. He had a serious attitude which I wish pokemon was like more (to an extent). He also had a voice actor that sounded mature. One of the best characters ever.
     
  17. I am Lu

    I am Lu Well-Known Member

    I'd disagree. His opinion of Ash started to shift when he found out he bested Brandon. And, I feel like it would have been way more out of character for Paul to get upset over losing to Ash because he's a "worthless" trainer. Paul is a very gracious loser; he handled himself very well when he lost to Cynthia and Brandon. Even when he lost to Ash in the PokeRinger competition, he didn't throw a fit (Although, he does scold Honchkrow for being slow, but that's expected of his character). He later admits Ash's praise strategy "seems to work," which is further indication of a growing respect.
     
  18. LilyTwo

    LilyTwo Well-Known Member

    And right after that, Paul cruelly humiliated Ash in an extremely one-sided battle. Paul's in-chracter reaction to think woldhave been to smirk at Ah and say something like: "Your victory against Brandon was obviously a fluke."

    Again, who did he lose to? The freaking Sinnoh Champion herself and the head of the Frontier Brains. No shame in losing to someone that strong,and Paul knows that. He obviously went into those battles knowig that, in spite of his best efforts, he could lose. With Ash, he was facing someone he considerd weak and worthless - if he was halfway in-character during the sinno League, he would have felt angry and ashamed at having lost to this "dropout" of a trainer.

    To be fair, it seemed to me that he didn't get angry because he shrugged Ash's victory off as being based on luck only.

    Which, again, is totally out of character of him. Paul doesn't respect anyone who doesn't share his training methods, and has done so for at least 4 years. For him to chane his tone so quickly... is not believable to say the least.
     
  19. DMerle

    DMerle Guess who's back

    Your overexaggerating the relationship between Paul and Reggie, Paul grudgingly respected him, probably for what he'd achieved before he turned breeder but also had a lot of resentment for him the way he quit after losing against Brandon you see him mention to Dawn that he doesn't like Ash because "he's just like my brother." He would of gained a little respect for Ash but not enough to merit him making any sort of comment about his battle against Brandon.

    No, during his first 6v6 battle with Ash even though he crushed him he said to Reggie how much he enjoyed it, everytime he battled Ash he experienced something differently and the battle with Ash at the Sinnoh league would be a big turning point, after losing against Paul at the lake and then using the same team again Ash was doing everything Paul considered stupid in battle but as it went on you saw him grow in respect especially towards Pikachu and Infernape yes he may have gone into the battle highly confident but after it he learnt just how much spirit Ash and his pokemon had and learnt a lot from it. It was such a gruelling battle for both of them, it lasted for an entire 3 intense episodes and was won by Infernape's will-power alone, of course he isn't going to turn around and degrade them he was obviously shocked because he'd not just underestimated Infernape but Ash as well, he had a lot to proccess.

    Really? He's shown respect for other people constantly, those he judges who are strong or in a high position he respects if grudgingly, once he talked to Brock about trying to bring out the true power of Pokemon he believes his method is good, because for the most part it was I mean during the entire anime he lost to how many opponents? 3, - two are as you said of such high skill it's natural he would lose since he was nowhere near his peak, the other was Ash at the league which i've already talked about. It's not like he instantly turned around and declared his undying love for Ash and his training methods, no. He walked off silently obviously with a lot to think about, similar to how he did with Brandon and Cynthia. Paul's always been calculated and steady with his emotions, it's only against Brandon that we saw him lose control, he's never once broken down and insulted someone when he's worse-off, he's arrogant and cocky and yes sometimes cruel when he's won, but not a sore loser.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  20. TheEliteEmpoleon

    TheEliteEmpoleon Surge Surfer

    He isn't a bully or an abuser, but as someone said, he wasn't meant to be liked. Though I did like him. He's one of my favorite characters.
     
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