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Why are Ash's League rivals so last minute?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by matt0044, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    Like... I don't hate them completely. If Ash has to lose, I prefer that he goes down swinging.

    However, one thing that make Cameron (yes, HIM) and Alain stand out among them is how they are introduced well before the League begins. I feel like this is how it should be done rather than shoehorning a random League participant like Tobias to transparently bump out Ash.

    Hell, with Cameron, we had Virgil who was initially though to the League rival so I can appreciate the misdirection if nothing else. This is something that could've been done with Johto through Sinnoh.

    When building up to a tournament arc, you wanna keep some form of suspense. But who do you think is going to bring Ash down in the Sinnoh League? Barry, Paul or that one randy with a Darkrai?
  2. ash&charizardfan

    ash&charizardfan Humanity's greatest soldier

    My guess i to make him and viewers realize that there are lot of stronger opponents than just beating your major rival which he generally does before losing everytime.
  3. AshxSatoshi

    AshxSatoshi Ice Aurelia

    I'd argue Alain and Cameron suffer the most of this. They both were introduced literally 10 episodes before their respective leagues (yes Alain had the MES but main anime wise no).
  4. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    Yes but storytelling wise, it feels like they pulled characters like Richie and Tyson out of their collective butts. Seeing the hand of the writer so clearly is hardly a good sign.

    It's hard to use the "it's more realistic" when Pokemon's rarely been a show to be super subversive like that.
  5. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    Main anime wise he was introduced at least 20 episodes before the League...(and even then, he did appear in XYZ 1). Plus the ME Specials are considered just as much a part of the main episode count as regular episodes, so...
  6. Pokegirl Fan~

    Pokegirl Fan~ Princess of Mars

    Yeah I wouldn't consider Alain a last minute rival since the mega evolution specials are part of the main anime series. I think Alains reasoning for entering the league was a pretty bad reason.
  7. Alain is not last minute lol

    Granted I think he was BS, but he wasn't last minute. You knew he was gonna be Ash's rival the moment he came on screen for the first time
  8. Rajas

    Rajas Well-Known Member

    Alain was the most developed and properly introduced rival of Ash's who beat him in the league. The rest were introduced maybe an episode or two right before the league. Alain was introduced via specials and then through the anime, also helping Ash discover his own weaknesses etc. He definitely isn't rubbish like Cameron, Tobias, Tyson and Ritchie.
  9. Navin

    Navin MALDREAD

    Because in-universe Ash probably wouldn't encounter such powerful trainers until....the league.
    MrBreada and TheWanderingMist like this.
  10. Kuzehiko

    Kuzehiko Well-Known Member

    Because they need them to beat Ash so he can go into another region.
  11. Rajas

    Rajas Well-Known Member

    This is partially true, there is nothing stopping him from winning a league and then losing to the elite four or even champion. Only up till Harrison was the rival used to directly send Ash to another region I believe. The rivals were just random as*pulls up until Alain and I'm guessing Gladion will fall closer to the bill of Alain as I don't see Ash beating him.
  12. Leonhart

    Leonhart Disney fanatic

    The Leagues in general have horrid pacing, so it makes sense that Satoshi's League rivals show up unexpectedly and with hardly any development or backstory. I liked Masamune, though.
  13. Aduro

    Aduro Mt.BtlMaster

    The problem with Alain was that he was introduced to Ash and the fans with some decent notice. And he was introduced as Ash's rival. But he rushed into the league so suddenly that it felt like he joined it on a whim. Despite the Mega Evolution thing looking like a separate goal.

    I think it would be more interesting if we got three or four genuinely powerful characters throughout the series that were gunning for the league and we would be left to wonder who would beat who. It would have been interesting if the others characters in the Kalos league looked like they had a good shot at taking Ash down. Or if all the competitors in the Unova league hadn't looked like idiotic amateurs except Trip who should have been the rookie.

    Its obvious that Ash is going to be taken down at the end of each league. But they could at least surprise us with who is going to do it. I guess I was surprised that Ash lost to Cameron rather than the Eevee kid, but that was too disappointing for me to be positively optimistic. At the moment Kiawe and Gladion look like Ash's most significant rivals in Alola, but I wouldn't be surprised if some older trainer was shoehorned in at the last minute for Ash to lose to. Since Ash needs to beat Gladion eventually.
  14. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    Make sense but it can feel... contrived when you look at it from a more out-of-universe narrative stance. As a writer, I'd find it more fulfilling if an established (and maybe developed) characters from various episodes before hand were the one to win against Ash because we've gotten to know them along with our designated main characters.

    Like... suppose Wally appeared ahead of time in certain AG episodes, building him up as the underdog compared to Ash. A good end for his character arc would be to face Ash close to the finals and win. It'd also make for drama as we'd want our hero to win but also Wally after we've known him as the one struggling the most. Maybe have Harrison appear early as well.

    It's just that when a new character just so happens to appear at the League and connects with Ash, I roll my eyes and think, "Gee, I wonder who Ash is gonna lose to."
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  15. Navin

    Navin MALDREAD

    That would be an interesting idea, although at this point I think most of the fanbase just wants him to win one of these leagues finally. There's no more excuses after reaching the finals at the KL.

    Well, you could say that's what happened with Alain. Sure, he wasn't aiming for the league until late, but you still got to witness his skill and character growth.
  16. Lord Trollbias

    Lord Trollbias Y'all Salty Bishes

    Because as much as the anime follows the story of Ash and his friends, they are still only a small part of the overall Pokemon anime world. So other strong trainers don't have to meet Ash before the League because while the story of the anime revolves around Ash and his crew, the world of the anime does not.
    That being said, while I do not rate the BW or XY League, I did like the fact that many of the League participants were reoccurring characters we had seen before (Dino, Remo, Astrid, Ramone, etc...).
    I'd also like to see, not interactions per say, but maybe Ash and co. hearing about other trainers before the League for example. For example in DP maybe have at least 1 Gym Leader mention "that guy with Darkrai" to hype up Tobias before he physically showed up. Or in a future saga after Ash beats a GL they mention that he gave them as good a fight as some other trainer with <insert Pokemon here>
  17. Xenon Blue

    Xenon Blue No Hard Feelings

    The anime likes to shove in a bunch of filler and PotD stuff, so it's hard to find room to develop multiple rivals prior to the league. It also doesn't help with the fact that leagues are usually constraint to no more than 7 episodes. The anime could tone down on fillers and instead use that time to showcase more recurring trainers and their progression. Minor rivals who ends up losing to Ash or his main rival within the first 3 rounds really only needs one or two proper battles with Ash before the league match, so only a handful of episode is needed to have better rivals. Also if we get a last-minute "dark horse" that ends up taking out a minor rival who has peaked in development before the league, then that is fine as long as Ash manages to beat him in the end. Can't make the league too predictable.
  18. MidnightMelody

    MidnightMelody Degrassi Student

    I agree with this myself I've never understood the mind behind thinking specials that happen in the canon anime verse can't be seen as actual episodes. If Misty does a capture in a "special" only to return to the "main" anime to show it off it is not like it never went down.
  19. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    I understand that but I take issue with how... predictable this can be in terms of who's gonna beat Ash narratively speaking.
  20. SinnohEevee

    SinnohEevee Well-Known Member

    They tend to get introduced only to beat Ash.

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