• Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
  • If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders

Smashing with Sketch! The Fierce Poké-Ping Pong Match!! (1009)


Well-Known Member
Whether or not it's funny is just subjective. It often gives me a chuckle. And besides, it's part of who Ash is as a character that he often gets in those situations. He's a character that goes into new endeavours with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement, he's impatient and he doesn't really think things through. He's the kind of person that just dives in blindly, messes up, and learns from his mistakes to grow. Why is it such a problem that Ash is most often encountering these situations? Why should there be some kind of hidden tally that keeps track of how often each character is the butt monkey which should line up equal in the end? I mean, compare him to a character like Lana, who is very different. Lana is more the silent observing character. She observes and thinks things through and then, through her own innate talents and skills perseveres. Due to the nature of her character she just naturally doesn't enter those same situations that Ash does. Lillie is similar to Lana in a way, but with different fears. Lillie is mostly made fun of with her fear of touching pokémon and her poor abilities in sports and other physical activities, but she won't enter in the same butt monkey situations Ash does because she is simply not as reckless. Kiawe is made fun of plenty of times, usually for his tendency to take everything very seriously and to get carried away competitively (like at the sleep over when he had Turtonator destroy the living room). Sophocles is also made fun of occasionally, he's fallible in his anxiety and poor physical abilities, and Togedemaru doesn't seem as attached to him as the pokémon of the other characters are to their trainers (although that's also Togedemaru's personality).

Let me put it this way. If all characters were to be the butt monkey equally and made fun of in similar situations, what sets the characters apart?

Also out of all of them, Ash gets WAY more vindication. Sure he's a butt monkey in many episodes, but almost all of them have him redeem himself and do something intelligent or badass.

Granted sometimes maybe this is why the girls feel far less accomplished. They don't get the lows, but they don't get the highs either. Out of the girl characters Lillie seems like the only one XY-onwards that's allowed to struggle or lose at anything (and thus be made to improve), even in situations the character should logically be inexperienced (e.g. non-battlers like Serena and Mallow always getting through battles without a SINGLE hit, while pros like Ash will sell against even TR if it makes the story work better). Butt monkey or failure roles aren't just ratio thing so one doesn't look more pathetic than the other, it's something that makes them sympathetic. A character HAS to lose or suffer humiliation at some point otherwise they look too plot armoured, or alliteratively, start to become a bland invincible ace like Ilima, not to mention never being challenged or defeated means they never have to improvise or get better. They remain on top through the same bare bones skills, and thus end up boring.

Add to that, sometimes I feel like the writers are knowingly doing this and the ratio thing actually starts to take over. As in it looks like they bawk from making the girls lose or look pathetic in too many things, but at the same time they cap their abilities and involvement because they don't want them to end up looking far more competent than Ash as a result of struggling less (as mentioned, giving them completely clean winning streaks while downplaying their battle count and still making it blatant they're amateurs). I'd rather the girls had the same winner/loser tendencies than Ash than just be harmlessly mediocre and inactive.
Last edited:

Pokegirl Fan~

Golden Queen
maybe the dub will fix it and have him say something to else, like the slight change in the rules from DP

Eh since the past few series it seems like Ash becomes a different person with the same design in each new series so him not remembering how to play doesn't bother me that much.


Go’s Scizor needs to Hassam better episodes:/
Ash honestly wasn't much of a buttmonkey here. Pikachu accidentally struck him with Iron Tail twice and let the ball hit him and that's it. I think the writers/Ash forgot. You can expect them/him to remember everything. I'll let it slide this time but I hope it doesn't continue. This isn't really excusable when his previously owned Pokémon left to compete in Poke Ping Pong.
Yeah, right. Baloney.
Uh, yeah. It dates back to the OS. Ash has always been the buttmonkey. Only guy that's gotten buttmonkey moments aside from recently Kiawe, was Brock.
Last edited:


Dawn & Chloe by ddangbi
The issue is that the anime producers/writers think that the old fans who watched the previous region arcs retired watching the show. So Llima explained in a way that Ash represents the new audience who started from SM and that he's the main character so he should take the initiative to ask questions first.


Just a member
"BW Ash is best Ash"? Oh, please!

Uh, yeah. It dates back to the OS. Ash has always been the buttmonkey.

And Ash never grew as a character since OS? His growth in Hoenn, Sinnoh and Kalos was obviously a big lie. Like I said, baloney. SM Ash is not only a butt-monkey, he's stupid compared to XY Ash.

SM Ash's comedy shtick was already bad, and these two episodes only made it worse by having a perfect gary-stu (complete with fangirls) as the main focus.
Last edited:


Go’s Scizor needs to Hassam better episodes:/
"BW Ash is best Ash"? Oh, please!

And Ash never grew as a character since OS? His growth in Hoenn, Sinnoh and Kalos was obviously a big lie. Like I said, baloney.

Trying to defend SM Ash and his butt-monkey moments won't get you anywhere.
What does growth have to do with being a buttmonkey or having buttmonkey moments? :confused:

To quote TV Tropes:
TV Tropes said:
-The character who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or the "put them through hell" plotline. For whatever reason, the Butt Monkey seems to walk through life with a permanent "Kick Me" sign attached to their backs, invisible to them, but all too visible to the rest of the world. Nothing ever goes right for this character, and if something bad is going to happen to someone, chances are it's going to happen to them. Long story short, it sucks to be the Butt Monkey.
- the trope is often played for laughs and we are encouraged to find the misery at least somewhat amusing
-Almost Always Male. In cases that the Butt Monkey is female, is regularly used for slapstick and it is Played for Laughs, she is probably also a case of Slapstick Knows No Gender.


Well-Known Member
To be honest, 1, it had been three regions since he had even played ping pong so him not remembering it off the top of his head doesn't bother me; 2, if I remember correctly, he didn't do all that well to begin with, losing in an early round match, despite doing decently well in his match that was shown; 3, the rules were clearly different from Sinnoh in that his pokemon are able to use moves to manipulate the movement of the ball, whereas in Sinnoh, using a move would get them disqualified. And if I remember correctly, the rules weren't elaborated on back then.


Well-Known Member
In fairness Ash has been on a roll for most of Season Two, we've had him perfectly mimic a Passimian and ace their ball game, stand toe-to-toe with the Masked Royal, and pretty much spend the whole AF arc acting as Lillie's sempai and knight in shining armour.

Ilima's defeated Team Skull (which Ash, Kiawe and even Delia already done handily) and won a game of ping pong.




And of course this episode once again demonstrates Ash's stupidity when it comes to sports...

In his defense, he's a pretty active kid and has done well in other physical activities. His inexperience with ping pong here seemed more like a gag anyway.


Well-Known Member
So th people working on the anime talk about how amazing and exciting that they have a famous actor playing as Ilima for two episode and the end result of it is a bland character and two episode that are at best forgottable.

Hope that money was well spent for about 2 week of relevant before this show get lost in the abyss during the spring anime season.


UP NEXT: A Hangry Return
I'd like to see the reactions if Illima beats Ash in the League

This guy is more flawless than Alan's Mega Charizard X(and becoming even more hated)
Last edited:


Bonnie stan
Ash should have made a reference to Dawn's Ambipom

Why did they only show one point each of each of the three classmates' matches? Those were entertaining and the best part of the episode, and I wish we had seen more. I also believe that means we don't even know who won each match?

Why did Ash just say Who's That Pokémon for Mienshao?

They didn't at all make the deuce situation as dramatic as they could have. Ilima won the first two points of it. They might as well have made it 9-9 rather than 10-10 before those two points, with no narrative difference.


Bonnie stan
Well to start, the first 3 Ping Pong bouts between Mallow/Ash, Lillie/Sophocles, Kiawe/Lana were enjoyable in a sense, but to make girls win in all 3 cases and not letting a single guy win was sort of one-sided. Then again watching Ash getting embarassed like that.....it somewhat got to my nerves TBH. Still Lillie vs Sophocles and Kiawe vs Lana were enjoyable in their own way.

Kiawe won that point, and in all three cases, we have no idea who won the match. We only saw the first point each.

Oh, look. It's Korrina's evil ping-pong uncle.


Yeah, Korrinas arc was worse, but still I don't think they should put the main cast in the background for a character we'll most likely never see again without having anyone from the main cast benefiting from it.

How was Korrina's arc worse? It actually showed a character struggling, and showcased the Mega Evolution struggle, and they had to do it this way since Ash was never going to get Mega Evolution. These two episodes were pointless.

Ash not getting a Lucario

please no. I might quit the anime.

Satoshi seemed somewhat confused by the rules of ping pong, which was strange since he had played the game in Shinou. Ilima shined once again, and his Doble was amusing. I was happy when Ilima left the cast, however. He just wasn't a good fit from my point of view.

In some ways, it's fine since the rules had changed since the last time Ash played, potentially making him actually the most likely of the six to get confused.

But then again she overstayed her welcome and that was just as bad that balanced things out between her and Ilima's short but perfect focus.

I believe you only feel this way because of your obsession with Lucario and Ash getting one. These Ilima's episodes can't even approach the quality of the Korrina arc. You're just salty Ash doesn't have a Lucario.

Can someone tell me why does Ilima have 2 eps when he dosen't matter in the long run?

I consider the Gen VII trial captains who are not main characters to be anime equivalents to the Gen IV stat trainers. They're game characters that the writers could choose to exclude if they wanted to, but they're featuring them in the anime just to showcase some game characters. Cheryl got 3 episodes. I don't think it's that surprising that Ilima got 2 episodes rather than just being a COTD, especially when you consider that he's pretty unambiguously a more important game character than Cheryl.


"Tis an honor to be recognized."
I believe you only feel this way because of your obsession with Lucario and Ash getting one. These Ilima's episodes can't even approach the quality of the Korrina arc. You're just salty Ash doesn't have a Lucario.

I don't have an obsession. In fact, don't even give this kid one. I only say that just to match the events of the games and make things interesting for once. But alas.