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Why are Ash's League rivals so last minute?

Leonhart

Imagineer
The only one I can think of that was REALLY last-minute and a Deus Ex Machina of sorts was Tobias, who was less of a character, and more of a plot device who just happened to be able to walk and talk.

Of course, Cameron had all sort of other problems, which make him even WORSE than Tobias in several ways...

Takuto was foreshadowed several episodes in advance though, so I wouldn't consider him to be a last-minute rival. He wasn't much of a rival in the literal sense either, because he had no vendetta against Satoshi.
 

SinnohEevee

Well-Known Member
Takuto was foreshadowed several episodes in advance though, so I wouldn't consider him to be a last-minute rival. He wasn't much of a rival in the literal sense either, because he had no vendetta against Satoshi.

He came out of nowhere with a Mythical and a Legendary. No Gym Leader mentioned a guy with a Darkai. We don't even know how he got his Legendaries. It was blatant that he was only there so Ash loses again. We have no idea how he did against the E4 even when Cynthia returned in Unova.
 

Navin

MALDREAD
He came out of nowhere with a Mythical and a Legendary. No Gym Leader mentioned a guy with a Darkai. We don't even know how he got his Legendaries. It was blatant that he was only there so Ash loses again. We have no idea how he did against the E4 even when Cynthia returned in Unova.

I think it's pretty clear that Tobias was probably in the writing concepts meant to have a greater role, but that had to be canned with news that BW was going to be released. I'm sure he probably had more Pokemon like Entei and Lucario.

I've said this before, but since Ash had to lose (there was no way he was going from quarterfinals to winning the entire tournament outright) in DP. And after beating Paul (one of the most skilled trainers shown in the entire anime) in the most epic battle ever, the only way for the writers to top that and for Ash to have a justified, better loss would be against a guy with two insanely overpowered Legendaries. So Tobias was almost necessary.
 

PokemonBattleFanatic-

Well-Known Member
The Sinnoh League has gotta be the most blatant roadblock for Ash compared to the others.

Reasons why Ash Loss to Ritchie
  • He wasn't very skilled
  • His Charizard was disobedient
  • His team was weak
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Harrison
  • Still lacked skill
  • His pokemon weren't strong enough
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Tyson
  • His team wasn't strong enough
  • He didn't use reserves (Charizard)(Snorlax)(Bulbasaur)(Squirtle)
  • Still lacked skill
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Tobias
  • Tobias's team were a lineup of legendaries
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Cameron
  • His team wasn't strong enough
  • He didn't use reserves (Charizard)(Sceptile)(Snorlax)(Infernape)
  • He wasn't very skilled
--------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Alain
  • Alain's Charizard in ME form was around E4 level

So as you can see the reasons given out for most of the league losses had a lot to do with Ash himself and just needing to improve.All of the league rivals showed up before the league and befriended Ash,I wouldn't count Tobias as a league rival since he was introduced in the middle of the league and only met Ash one time.

His loss at the Sinnoh League was a major screwjob since he didn't do anything wrong,he had enough skill as a trainer,his team was good,he used a good majority of his reserves,and he defeated arguably the most skilled trainer in the entire series (Paul).The writers couldn't make up some Harrison/Tyson type of trainer to try and defeat Ash since they'd lose so they came up with a trainer that owned legendary pokemon,that's the lowest of the low.

Could make a case for the Kalos League being another road block because it fully doesn't make sense for Alain to compete at a pokemon league when his real goal was to become the strongest ME trainer in the world.But it wasn't as unfair as the one at the Sinnoh League,Alain was at least down to his last pokemon as opposed to Tobias who was only down to four.Ash could have came even closer to defeating Alain had he used his strongest reserves (Charizard)(Sceptile)(Infernape)(Snorlax) along with Pikachu/Greninja,have Alain go through them,wear his Charizard out and save Greninja for last.
 
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Caseydia

Ace Trainer
I wish they weren't called that but unfortunately it is for plot armor for Ash to lose. Most of the league rivals have less impact then the main and are only memorable mostly for defeating Ash in the league rather then anything else.
 

LilyTwo

Well-Known Member
I feel Cameron is pretty awesome, both in character and in concept.

Granted, I don't take issue with Tobias or see him as a problem, so...


What is awesome about Cameron? I see nothing but a brain-dead idiot who just blundered his way through the league.

PokemonBattleFanatic said:
Reasons why Ash lost to Cameron

His team wasn't strong enough
He didn't use reserves (Charizard)(Sceptile)(Snorlax)(Infernape)
He wasn't very skilled


The REAL reason why Ash lost to Cameron was because the writing and the universe bent over backwards to MAKE Cameron win.
 

PokemonBattleFanatic-

Well-Known Member
The REAL reason why Ash lost to Cameron was because the writing and the universe bent over backwards to MAKE Cameron win.

The writers decided not to let Ash use Krookodile/Palpitoad against Cameron to prevent him from winning,or we could say that final clash between Electro Ball and Aura Sphere was bullsh*t,but at least Cameron got stomped by Virgil 6-3.
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
I wish they weren't called that but unfortunately it is for plot armor for Ash to lose. Most of the league rivals have less impact then the main and are only memorable mostly for defeating Ash in the league rather then anything else.

I realize this, although I'd say that Alain stood out from the rest since he was active even before the Kalos League since we saw him working with the Flare-dan. Even Kotetsu had ample development before he defeated Satoshi.
 

mehmeh1

I don't feel safe!
The Sinnoh League has gotta be the most blatant roadblock for Ash compared to the others.

Reasons why Ash Loss to Ritchie
  • He wasn't very skilled
  • His Charizard was disobedient
  • His team was weak
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Harrison
  • Still lacked skill
  • His pokemon weren't strong enough
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Tyson
  • His team wasn't strong enough
  • He didn't use reserves (Charizard)(Snorlax)(Bulbasaur)(Squirtle)
  • Still lacked skill
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Tobias
  • Tobias's team were a lineup of legendaries
-------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Cameron
  • His team wasn't strong enough
  • He didn't use reserves (Charizard)(Sceptile)(Snorlax)(Infernape)
  • He wasn't very skilled
--------------------------------------------------------
Reasons why Ash lost to Alain
  • Alain's Charizard in ME form was around E4 level

So as you can see the reasons given out for most of the league losses had a lot to do with Ash himself and just needing to improve.All of the league rivals showed up before the league and befriended Ash,I wouldn't count Tobias as a league rival since he was introduced in the middle of the league and only met Ash one time.

His loss at the Sinnoh League was a major screwjob since he didn't do anything wrong,he had enough skill as a trainer,his team was good,he used a good majority of his reserves,and he defeated arguably the most skilled trainer in the entire series (Paul).The writers couldn't make up some Harrison/Tyson type of trainer to try and defeat Ash since they'd lose so they came up with a trainer that owned legendary pokemon,that's the lowest of the low.

Could make a case for the Kalos League being another road block because it fully doesn't make sense for Alain to compete at a pokemon league when his real goal was to become the strongest ME trainer in the world.But it wasn't as unfair as the one at the Sinnoh League,Alain was at least down to his last pokemon as opposed to Tobias who was only down to four.Ash could have came even closer to defeating Alain had he used his strongest reserves (Charizard)(Sceptile)(Infernape)(Snorlax) along with Pikachu/Greninja,have Alain go through them,wear his Charizard out and save Greninja for last.
for kanto, that SHOULD have been why he lost to ritchie, but it was really due to things he had no control over (being attacked by team rocket before the match and the rules being so arbitrary that sleep is now "being unable to battle")
 
To answer the thread's question...

Because the time doesn't allow for the creators to actually make endearing characters/battles and thus these last-minute nobodies are created to bring about swift cheap endings to Ash's hard work.

All in the name of filler and marketing ploys to sell those plushies to the easily manipulated 8-year olds, I suppose.
 

Slapstick-Olivia

Well-Known Member
I think they are used as an excuse so that Ash can loose the league and the writers can use him in the next series. Ash kinda has to stay the new character. He is the human face of the anime series.
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
I think they are used as an excuse so that Ash can loose the league and the writers can use him in the next series. Ash kinda has to stay the new character. He is the human face of the anime series.

I feel that most fans understand that Satoshi has to lose the League tournaments. The main issue seems to be that viewers dislike it when characters with little to no backstory crush Satoshi's dreams.
 

LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
I feel that most fans understand that Satoshi has to lose the League tournaments. The main issue seems to be that viewers dislike it when characters with little to no backstory crush Satoshi's dreams.
He doesn't have to lose.. why couldn't he lose to the first member of the Elite Four instead? Or, in Kalos, just say: you can't challenge the E4 until we repair Lumiose City?
 
What kind of ridiculous story is the MC constantly losing the big leagues.

But then again, the story forces how good he is that he kind of has it coming...which is still ridiculous.
 

MidnightMelody

Hopeful for Gen 8
I actually like how he does't win but instead it is a real life progression. I don;t want him winning the Alolan League due to one reason. He has done nothing to deserve the win. If he wins this time I'd be annoyed
 

Epicocity

Well-Known Member
Why doesn't he deserve the win? SM Ash battles just fine.
I'd argue it's less that he battles fine and more that he doesn't really work for it. I mean, the total time we see him actually training his Pokemon is less than before (they're usually training themselves) or repetitive (the twerking technique being used twice). He doesn't really push for any training like he has in the past, and he doesn't even seek out the Kahunas or trials as he usually would, so if he just enters the League while not really thinking about it and wins it, it would feel the slightest bit insulting. But that's just one man's opinion.

So, yeah, he's battle competent, but it wouldn't feel earned this particular series, if that makes sense.
 
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