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What's so special about the Ash/Paul rivalry?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Halolady, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. noakai

    noakai Well-Known Member

    This is it for me. It wasn't just that Paul had very different viewpoints on how to raise Pokemon, it was that his methods produced results. How he treated Chimchar was inexcusable but they showed that he wasn't like that with all of his others and that his methods actually worked very well with some Pokemon and his Pokemon actually loved him, so it wasn't like Ash could just say "you're a huge jerk and your methods aren't just wrong, they don't even work." Paul kept pulling ahead and when someone keeps doing better than you despite the fact that you think their way of doings things is utterly wrong, it can be pretty threatening to your world view. Ash eventually raising Paul's Chimchar into a Pokemon that could defeat Paul despite Paul tossing it away as useless was the perfect culmination of an arc like that so that helps a lot. If they had just made Paul a rival but not done that with Chimar, it wouldn't have worked as well. It really allowed the show to display Ash's best qualities when it comes to raising and battling his Pokemon.
  2. Frozocrone

    Frozocrone Miraculous!

    Boom. Ash was constantly lecturing Paul on how to raise Pokémon and yet it was Paul that was beating Ash in every single battle (until the last one, where Ash shows that in the long run his methods work better, although you could argue it was Infernape being on Tier 0).
  3. Paul couldn't get infernape to activate blaze anyways

    But yea, there was something about Paul which made me really root for Ash, and defeating him with the own Pokemon he abandoned was even more satisfying.

    I sort of hate but respect Paul at the same time (unlike drew who I just hated) but that's what makes him the best rival in the Pokemon anime
  4. Navin

    Navin MALDREAD

    That's why it was jarring for me at least. He gets wrecked by everyone in his initial appearances, watches Ash and hears some generic 'stay focused' message from him, and then off-screen notetaking helps him make leaps over a span of 50 episodes that I felt were too much.

    But focusing on more of the rivalry aspect, that's why it felt short. There wasn't much time or focus devoted to their rivalry. Did they make it work and made him a credible threat? Sure. Does that make it necessarily awesome? No.
  5. Cloud5001

    Cloud5001 Well-Known Member

    Here's the differences between Paul and Trip. Paul first of all had as much experince as Ash did meaning it makes sense why he could beat Ash at all. However as was stated they are polar opposites when Diamond and pearl starts. Ash hated how Paul trained his pokemon and so made it all the more frustrating that he could'nt beat this guy. Paul forced Ash to retool a bit and made him think more, cause if he did'nt he was never going to beat Paul.

    This was completely thrown to the way side in Black and white where they had a LEGENDARY pokemon come in take Pikachu's electricity away just to have an excuse for Ash to lose to a newbie trainer and his new pokemon. Trip is a terrible rival and the gap that he had over Ash made absolutely no sense, and that's mainly cause the writers were all over the place with Trip's charachter. Sometimes he's a jerk, sometimes he's helpful, sometimes they wanted him to be a jerk while still being helpful.

    Paul's charachter was always consistent and when he did undergo some charachter development we saw it happen, because after the battle with Brandon he does start to change a bit he's not as rude as he was to Ash before. However we saw this happen it was'nt completely random cause we were given a personality from Paul right from the start. Trip on the other hand never gave us an established personaility so we have no idea if him being nicer in an episode is character development especially when he acts like a jerk again in his very next appearance.

    Not only that it's clear the writers gave up on him at the end of the leauge since the main rival battle is usually saved for right before the match where Ash loses. It was at the very start of the episode and it was a one on one. Then we never saw Trip again, the only satisfying thing about that match was that Pikachu FINALLY got to one shot that op as hell Serperior.
  6. Xenon Blue

    Xenon Blue No Hard Feelings

    The problem with Sawyer is that his rate of growth as a trainer was absurd. One moment he is a trainer who can't even come close to taking out any of Ash's Pokemon, and then the next moment he has enough experience to create a dedicated counter team to Ash's? At least with Trip he was already established as a trainer who knew his stuff from the get-go, which isn't weird. It's not new for a person to already be knowledgeable about the said topic before actually doing it. Of course Trip had plethora of other problems as a rival, but I don't think him being competent from the start is one of them. There are two ways to fix Sawyer; make him appear more often and show his growth more steadily i.e make him appear near the start, or make him semi-competent when he first meets Ash. Not saying that Sawyer is a terrible rival, but he certainly could have been much better.
  7. Halolady

    Halolady walking on eggshells

    I'm curious; what did you find debatable/polarizing about the execution?
  8. doofinc

    doofinc Elite Four

    I view Sawyer as someone who can do things quickly, but needs to know what to do, such as the type advantages issue right in his formal introduction against Valerie. He learns what to do from Ash and applies it into his own battle style, as seen in the Semi-Finals when he applied a similar technique of Noivern's echolocation, learned in Ash's loss against him, for Slurpuff so he can sniff out Goodra in the smoke. He is able to counter Ash due to analyzing his battle style in order to learn, and this made the Kalos League have two rounds of tension while still making Ash beating Alain look believable after only winning 1-0 against Sawyer (assuming you didn't know anything about Ash beating Sawyer). While I wouldn't put him as one of the best trainers in the world, he did serve as a good rival to Ash. This, combined with not travelling with companions, nor dealing with Team Rocket/filler episodes all the time, makes me feel that his fast progression is believable, although being introduced a bit earlier would have been nicer.

    However, I still view Paul as an overall better rival since he was introduced near the beginning, and was just as experienced as Ash. He was always shown to be a step ahead of Ash, and his ethics in training were so different, although some techniques were similar. He was as strategic as Ash, and appeared often enough to understand him as a person, something which the other rivals lacked.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  9. CMButch

    CMButch Kanto is love. Kanto is life.

    Their dynamics, relationship, their different views, Paul's "antagonistic" view on Pokemon.Ash had "heroic" view.
  10. PokemonBattleFanatic-

    PokemonBattleFanatic- Standby for Battle!

    Paul was such a big rival he came off as much of a threat as Hunter J and Team Galactic did,I didn't get the same vibe from Gary or Trip.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  11. Zoruagible

    Zoruagible Lover of underrated characters

    It's because aside from Gary, none of his other rivals were handled well. Barry, Bianca, Stephen, and Trevor were all cool characters but they weren't properly developed. Cameron was a lucky idiot, Sawyer's development was just pure **** had he been introduced say near gym 1/2 it wouldn't have been bad. You DON'T introduce a freaking NOOB as a rival at the 6th gym! Alain simply shouldn't have been in the main anime, he was already a Stu. Trip straight up sucked.

    Paul was pure perfect. He was Ash's equal in terms of experience, yet he beat Ash every time and was shown to lose, showing he's not perfect either. Especially him losing to Brandon, who Ash had beaten. And he was the opposite of Ash too.
  12. Wednesdayz

    Wednesdayz Banned

    I didn't view Paul as a threat on par with TG or J since they were genuinely evil, while Paul was just a jerk. :x
  13. AuraChannelerChris

    AuraChannelerChris "How did I know that would be your reaction?"

    To answer the thread's question...

    It actually had tension, something which has long been forgotten and Trip could not properly keep up. Then it died off completely.
  14. Soniman

    Soniman Break the Limit

    5th gym, before even that if were getting technical, so yeah
  15. wobbanut

    wobbanut Team Awesome

    Compared to Ash/Trip and even Ash/Gary, Paul was a real challenge for Ash. I really liked their rivalry. Paul was a complex character who used different methods from Ash, not all of them good (namely abandoning pokemon he felt weak), but Paul grew as a character over the course of the DP saga. It wasn't right for him to abandon his pokemon he'd been training so hard, but at least he changed.
  16. Kazuki Mirai

    Kazuki Mirai Well-Known Member

    I feel that Paul's team in the League battle was a major copout.

    Electivire: Makes sense.
    Aggron: Eh. Okay.
    Ninjask: We saw this guy in the flashback it did good.
    Drapion: Complete beast.
    Froslass: Passable I guess.
    Gastrodon: lolwat

    I guess Torterra is basically Paul's Charizard/Pikachu but... at the same time eh.
  17. AuraChannelerChris

    AuraChannelerChris "How did I know that would be your reaction?"

    Paul's Ursaring was clearly a monster.
  18. Ash-Pikachu

    Ash-Pikachu Well-Known Member

    His team seemed more diversified than it was at Lake Acuity to be honest.
  19. KingMinun

    KingMinun Dawn/Sinnoh Fan!

    It could be argued that its a cop out, especially as viewers, you would naturally want to see Ash's Sinnoh team crush the pokemon they fought against in Lake Acuity, but actually from the point of view of the character, it actually incredibly accurate, why would Paul give Ash an advantage in a major competition by using the same team he used before, which could allow Ash to prepare a strategy against them.

    For me, what made the rivalry so special was that it felt real. You tuned each time they encountered each other, rooting for Ash because of what a jerk Paul was, and the way he treated his pokemon, you just wanted Ash to show him that his strategy is not the way to go in order to be a pokemon master. Plus, you can understand why Paul is the way he is, as his story developed, and why he took a dislike to Ash, because he reminded him of his brother, who he viewed as weak for giving up on his dream, and Ash having the same attitude as Reggie. In fact, that's why I place Paul at the top of the rival list, because there was a strong backstory, Gary acted like a jerk to Ash, but there wasn't really an explanation, Trip was poorly written.

    And I think that battle at Lake Acuity really played a crucial part, from that moment, you were not only rooting for Ash, but his entire team, it felt like you went through that journey with them, you saw each of those pokemon develop over time, only to be absolutely crushed by Paul, but then they came out from that battle, still fighting and high in spirit. I personally loved Ash's Sinnoh team the best because of the rivalry with Paul. Each member of the team felt like they had something to prove, and all, with the exception of Torterra (which is a shame, as it was my favourite of the team) and to a lesser extent Buizel ended up getting one over on Paul at some point. Paul criticised Pikachu, Turtwig, Starly, Chimchar and Gligar at some point throughout the course of the series, so to see Pikachu, Staraptor, Infernape and Gliscor finally show him at some point their worth was a great relief for the me as the viewer. I remember watch Staravia evolve and Ash commenting to Paul at the end of the episode that he wasn't the same Starly he first met, Paul shrugged it off, as though he didn't care, but that loss (although not a battle) still meant something to him. The fact that Infernape had such history with Paul, to them be the one dominating their league match, and of course, the cry baby Gligar, turning into Gliscor and being the one to take down his best pokemon in their league battle.

    Its a rivalry that was so good, that I don't think they'll ever live up to.
    People argue that Ash and Alain had a great one, but in comparison and in my opinion, their rivalry felt forced, it was introduced so late into the series, Paul's started off at the beginning of his series, and we watched it grow and develop with each encounter.
  20. PokemonBattleFanatic-

    PokemonBattleFanatic- Standby for Battle!

    Yeah it got stomped by Elekid followed by an immediate capture by Paul.

    Yep the parallels with Torterra and Pikachu is that both are starters and traveled to many regions with their owner,the parallels with Torterra and Charizard is that both are in their final evolution and went through legitimate training to achieve their power.

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