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Pokemon Evolution in the Anime: Do you think it's Necessary?

Mythical-Moonlight

JN give me a Lucario/Cinderace/Inteleon episode!
So what are your views?

Should a Pokemon need to evolve to be stronger?

Does it depend on the Pokemon in question?

Does it depend on the situation?

Things like Dawn's Piplup, Ash's Bulbasaur and Ash's Rowlet were strong without needing to evolve once

Ash's Torterra got worse upon evolution, and Noivern and Goodra don't have great battle records either

Looking at the current series where all of Ash's current Team are fully evolved, do you think any of these guys would fair in the PWC if they were in their previous stages?

And then there's also some of Goh's Pokemon who have evolved, most likely to help with Project Mew (and to fill his Pokedex?)

Would Project Mew have been achieved even with pre-evos like Scorbunny and Sobble for instance?

Past series have had Pre-evos show strength by overcoming their Evolved Forms but in Journeys it seems like Evolution is the defining way to become better?


What do you guys think?
 
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KenzeyEevee

Some ppl have the insight of a Magikarp
I think it depends on the battle style of the trainer and how much stronger some pokemon want to be. Bulbasaur wants to be strong as Bulbasaur and Satoshi adapts his battle style to that. Also I think it has to do with the techniques and time the trainer invest it his or her pokemon. While Noivern was still very unexperienced in battles, Goodra didnt have alot of them either, but pokemon like Torterra dont really have an excuse, maybe just bad luck?
 

Ignition

Sinnoh Season
I think evolution helps and should be featured given that it’s an easy way to debut Pokémon but it’s not an immediate solution for story telling, personality, or strength.

Many Pokémon had evolution serve as huge milestones for their respective stories. A few good examples of this lie in Ash’s Fire starters. Charmeleon/Charizard’s evolutions marked a change in the dynamic between them and Ash. Pignite’s showed that it finally let go of the self doubt it had from its previous trainer releasing it. Incineroar’s marked the end of it and Kukui’s rivalry. Infernape’s marked the end of Ash and Paul’s hostile rivalry. All of these examples have their respective storylines span over the course of many episodes so to see this happen makes the viewer feel proud for the Pokémon coming so far. A lot of Pokémon start off as “weak yet determined underdogs” which only helps you care about their eventual moment to shine all the more exciting.

On the other hand, Pokémon like Torterra and Noivern may have cool evolution sequences but that comes at the cost of their battling strengths. To be fair, however, I think that’s more on the writers wanting to highlight Infernape/Greninja and less on them implying the Pokémon’s evolution made it worse. There’s also the tendency for Pokémon to become less expressive when they evolve like Ash’s regional birds. Evolution can also happen at odd pacing that give off the impression that it’s solely meant for hype and not as a fitting addition to a Pokémon’s character.

Evolution shows growth from a battling and character perspective and the fact that it’s a permanent physical change helps you see how far they’ve come. It helps serve as a pay off to investing in these characters but it’s not the only way to convey that growth and/or make a Pokémon engaging. Small changes in personality (Buizel), learning a new move (Rowlet), or having a dynamic with other Pokémon (Squirtle) are other ways. Pikachu shows that evolution isn’t required to become strong either. A lot of single staged and fully/unevolved Pokémon were also memorable like Psyduck, Croagunk, Turtonator, Hawlucha, and Dragonite. Evolution (or lack thereof) can also lead to potentially interesting stories like Grotle having to adapt to its loss of agility or Chloe’s Eevee seeing what it wants to become.

Is it necessary? No. Does it help if given the right set up and execution? Absolutely.
 
Evolution in the anime reminds me of something akin to it as a technique in the PMD games, cute and nice but doesn’t really matter as the show asserts over and over again evolution isn’t everything and Pokémon are more than capable of handling evolved Pokémon as first-stage or baby Pokémon by proper training, strategy or battle play.

At this point evolution is more of a storytelling mechanic to mark a form of progression in a narrative than anything. Evolution especially now just seems like a natural progression of a Pokémon’s life (as Go’s Pokemon in captivity show with some of the Bugs evolving organically)
 

janejane6178

Kaleido Star FOREVER in my heart <3
Only if its justified
Not like Goh’s ew evolutions. His Pokemon evolve to a fully form starter after sleeping in a cave
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
It needs to be earned, which we, the audience, need to see executed well to accept it or discard it.
Pretty much. I think the problem is that, like many formula staples in the anime, evolution is sometimes used as a substitute or short cut around more valid character development, or in some cases even just to excuse a Pokemon not appearing much anymore. Noibat evolving into Noivern in a rather grandiose way for example, rather than having some valid progression into a battler, or even just keeping him as a likeable baby Pokemon in the interaction scenes. It really felt like they just couldn't be bothered with him so took the easiest way out.

Evolutions also tend to have a bad rep because, largely due to animation limitations, a Pokemon tends to get 'demoted' after they fully evolve, often losing all their fun chemistries and personality quirks they had as pre-evolutions. This isn't always the case however, some evolved Pokemon do actually have broader personalities, especially if their earlier forms were more limited (eg. Braixen, Gourgeist, and Lycanroc were all arguably more memorable than their pre-evolved states).

Again, though, it all really comes down to effort put into the Pokemon in question. If the writers don't wanna bother with them, you know evolution is likely just gonna be a sham. We also know from past instances that they aren't that committed to making them feel earned either (eg. Tsareena evolved TWICE with zero training or development, and many others just triggered one via 'the power of really really wanting it'). It is just another part of the formula in the anime, and like the others it can be used well or just worn into the ground until it has no meaning.
 

Mythical-Moonlight

JN give me a Lucario/Cinderace/Inteleon episode!
I've also noticed that alot of Pokemon tend to evolve if their Base Forms are somewhat "lacking" in Arms and Legs department

Take Mallow's Bounsweet for instance.

Serena's Fenniken and Goh's Sobble to a lesser extent

If a Pokemon starts out 4 Legged (or no legged) it usually evolves (especially if it has a Bipedal Evolution)

The only exception so far has been Bulbasaur and that was back in the OS.

Likewise if a Pokemon already starts out Biped in it's base stage it seems to have a slightly lower chance of evolution

Squirtle, Totodile, Piplup, Buizel, Buneary, Oshawott, Snivy, Pancham, Chespin, Rowlet, Bunnlby, all come to mind (but it's not always the case as shown by Charmander, Treecko, Torchic, and Scorbunny)


Do they do this for animation purposes? It does seems generally easier to animate something on 2 legs as apposed to a 4 legged creature
 
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DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I've also noticed that alot of Pokemon tend to evolve if their Base Forms are somewhat "lacking" in Arms and Legs department

Take Mallow's Bounsweet for instance.

Serena's Fenniken and Goh's Sobble to a lesser extent

If a Pokemon starts out 4 Legged (or no legged) it usually evolves (especially if it has a Bipedal Evolution)

The only exception so far has been Bulbasaur and that was back in the OS.

Likewise if a Pokemon already starts out Biped in it's base stage it seems to have a slightly lower chance of evolution

Squirtle, Totodile, Piplup, Oshawott, Snivy, Pancham, Chespin, Rowlet, Bunnlby, all come to mind (but it's not always the case as shown by Charmander, Treecko, Torchic, and Scorbunny)


Do they do this for animation purposes? It does seems generally easier to animate something on 2 legs as apposed to a 4 legged creature

I think in a lot of those cases it also depends on their character and if they want them to still be ongoing, since as mentioned, the bigger evolutions are harder to animate and often get demoted, often with their personality abolished if it doesn't fit their more mature looking form (eg. Charizard, Sylveon, nearly all of Ash's Kalos Pokemon).

If the writers want them to stay on as actual characters and part of the group they usually stay unevolved like your examples stated, unless their evolved form is actually more practical. The aformentioned Bounsweet for example had a more anthropomorphic but still cartoony final form that wasn't that much harder to draw.

SM tends to be an exception to this rule most of the time, since the more simplified animation allowed them to animate a lot of Pokemon more easily and the more comedic atmosphere meant it wasn't out of bounds for even a big serious looking Pokemon to have a silly side.
 

KibaLG8

Well-Known Member
So what are your views?

Should a Pokemon need to evolve to be stronger?

Does it depend on the Pokemon in question?

Does it depend on the situation?

Things like Dawn's Piplup, Ash's Bulbasaur and Ash's Rowlet were strong without needing to evolve once

Ash's Torterra got worse upon evolution, and Noivern and Goodra don't have great battle records either

Looking at the current series where all of Ash's current Team are fully evolved, do you think any of these guys would fair in the PWC if they were in their previous stages?

And then there's also some of Goh's Pokemon who have evolved, most likely to help with Project Mew (and to fill his Pokedex?)

Would Project Mew have been achieved even with pre-evos like Scorbunny and Sobble for instance?

Past series have had Pre-evos show strength by overcoming their Evolved Forms but in Journeys it seems like Evolution is the defining way to become better?


What do you guys think?

Torterra isn’t weak because it lost in all 3 battles it was in as a Torterra.

1. Fighting an Elite 4 member’s ace is just unfortunate because it won’t be defeating it but at least he was able to deal some damage before going down.

2. Against Volkner’s Electivire, it had the advantage with type alone but Torterra didn’t have Ground moves(And still doesn’t) to counter Electivire. A x4 Super-effective Ice Punch is justified for its loss.

3. Paul’s Drapion. Poison is strong against Grass but weak to Ground, so Drapion was dealing neutral damage to Torterra & Torterra did deal a significant amount of damage to Drapion. Not to mention Poison Spikes was dealing constant damage to Torterra as well. The only fall guy in this battle should’ve been Staraptor but they really wanted Infernape with 3 wins.

All of Torterra’s battles were just unfortunate matchups. It did put in some work in every one of its matches, with the League battle being its best one of the 3.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

Currently watching the entire Pokémon anime
Torterra isn’t weak because it lost in all 3 battles it was in as a Torterra.

1. Fighting an Elite 4 member’s ace is just unfortunate because it won’t be defeating it but at least he was able to deal some damage before going down.

2. Against Volkner’s Electivire, it had the advantage with type alone but Torterra didn’t have Ground moves(And still doesn’t) to counter Electivire. A x4 Super-effective Ice Punch is justified for its loss.

3. Paul’s Drapion. Poison is strong against Grass but weak to Ground, so Drapion was dealing neutral damage to Torterra & Torterra did deal a significant amount of damage to Drapion. Not to mention Poison Spikes was dealing constant damage to Torterra as well. The only fall guy in this battle should’ve been Staraptor but they really wanted Infernape with 3 wins.

All of Torterra’s battles were just unfortunate matchups. It did put in some work in every one of its matches, with the League battle being its best one of the 3.
Torterra put in more work than Greninja did against Alain in the Kalos League finals.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Torterra put in more work than Greninja did against Alain in the Kalos League finals.
I know I'm gonna get ripped to shreds for this, but Greninja represented nearly everything I DON'T like about the evolution writing process the show often has. He lost all his fun personality and dynamics he had as Froakie to become Ash's generically stoic and serious battle bot, and got put on a pedestal over the other Pokemon in the group because he was a flashy fully evolved starter with a 'chosen one' status. Froakie actually felt like he had more substance as a battler, what with more strategy over just AshGreninja mode and some team synergy.

It was poetic justice for me having Lycanroc win a league instead, who subverted nearly all of those writing pot holes and remained a fun likeable evolved Pokemon who could co-exist with his unevolved teammates (or in cases like Litten, actually help move along their own development).
8c6.gif
 
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SerGoldenhandtheJust

Legends Arceus shall be a masterpiece
It needs to be earned, which we, the audience, need to see executed well to accept it or discard it.
I just guess people need to accept that evolution in the anime no longer (and one can argue never has) needs to have mons earn the evolution just by battle experience, but they can earn it through character development as well as evolution atleast in JN has been treated more as maturity then as getting stronger (although that can happen as a bonus as well)
 

ImBeVillain

Platinum is best
In total, higher forms of evolution allow you to increase your attack power and speed, and to learn even stronger attacks. And additionally, it allows you to get a new type. Take, for example, that Piplup is pure water-type and have weak against grass-type pokemon, and as it evolves into Empoleon, grass moves might not get super effective because that Pokemon already has steel-type.

And yet. In the movie Pokemon, I don't know what the title was, but there was an evil-hearted rival that Incineroar had. He abused Charmander because he thought he was weak, and when this pokemon had a new trainer and evolved into Charizard, this same bad trainer still thought it was still a weak pokemon, but he was wrong because Charizard's wings helped to have more advantage over the standing pokemon.
 

Observer

Mostly watching
In total, higher forms of evolution allow you to increase your attack power and speed, and to learn even stronger attacks. And additionally, it allows you to get a new type. Take, for example, that Piplup is pure water-type and have weak against grass-type pokemon, and as it evolves into Empoleon, grass moves might not get super effective because that Pokemon already has steel-type.

And yet. In the movie Pokemon, I don't know what the title was, but there was an evil-hearted rival that Incineroar had. He abused Charmander because he thought he was weak, and when this pokemon had a new trainer and evolved into Charizard, this same bad trainer still thought it was still a weak pokemon, but he was wrong because Charizard's wings helped to have more advantage over the standing pokemon.
That was movie 20 Pokemon I Choose You, it kicked off the AU movie Ash adventures.
 

Mythical-Moonlight

JN give me a Lucario/Cinderace/Inteleon episode!
Here's a question.

Any thoughts on why Ash's Buizel, Ash's Corphish and Dawn's Buneary never evolved despite having no real reason not to?
 
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