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The Path to the Pokémon League! (008)


Well-Known Member
An issue with this episode is that there isn't really anyone to greatly support here.

AJ has the credentials and bonds with his Pokemon to back up his methods, but he's still a smug asshole and his training approach still borders on abusive (abuse is still abuse even if the victim doesn't disapprove of it). Ash has a point about AJ's training but he too is egotistical and standoffish, and seems as much motivated by being a sore loser that wants to discredit AJ's win over him.

Kanto in hindsight was a pretty damn cynical season, nearly all the COTD were pretty self righteous and harsh towards Ash, even considering his own attitude. Sometimes I feel like Shudo put up with a lot of hard edged professionals in his life who had the approach that being modest and nurturing got you nowhere in the business world.

It's arguably a relief the kid started travelling the world and going to more pleasant regions that relaxed his ego and defensive streak.


DatsRight said:
and seems as much motivated by being a sore loser that wants to discredit AJ's win over him.

That's part of what irked me about Satoshi's approach. He seemed to be upset about the loss more than he really cared about Akira's training methods, and it seemed like he was just projecting fake concern as a way to act high and mighty and get even with Akira.
Ash was being very immature when he lost to AJ and started holding a grudge against him for how he trained his Sandshrew and other Pokemon. I get why Ash thought he was correct about AJ being a messed up trainer who was almost a slave driver, but Ash took it too far. I liked when AJ finally won 100 battles even though winning against Jessie and James didn't feel like a major achievement but who cares. 8/10


JLK2707 said:
I think Ash losing to AJ served him right since he gloated about having two badges.

In a way it was somewhat endearing how Satoshi was so proud of winning two badges, even though it was ironic since he didn't really win his first badge himself since he had previously given up at the Nibi Gym. It made his superiority complex at the start of this episode rather strange, but I let it slide since he was just a naive kid.