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Why Best Wishes and Iris are my favorite

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by RenaSO2, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. RenaSO2

    RenaSO2 New Member

    Pokemon Best Wishes anime is my favorite. There's always been a lot of negativity and dislike towards the anime, so I'll post some reasons why BW is my favorite.

    Let's just start off with a background. I stopped watching Pokemon for a while (left at Advance Generations), and I only recently started watching it again. In 2013, I randomly decided to watch a Pokemon Movie which was "Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice". I decided to try watching a few minutes, and then I got hooked and ended up watching the whole movie. I enjoyed the movie a lot actually, and I'd say the movie encompasses a lot why BW is my favorite.

    I watched Pokemon again in 2018, I caught Sun and Moon on Disney XD and enjoyed the episode. So, I went backwards, and watched Sun and Moon (the current season), then XY and XYZ (VOD), and then Best Wishes, and then the rest of the Pokemon episodes I missed. And again in 2019 with Twitch Presents (BW and XYZ).

    The reason why I like Best Wishes is kind of the same reason why I like Raimi's Spider-Man 2. Best Wishes isn't as much as about power levels but about just dealing with things. In Spider-Man 2, Peter did his best to live by “with great power comes great responsibility”. However, as Spider-Man, nothing seem to go right. In fact, Peter being Spider-Man seemed to make him miserable and sad. Spider-Man did not get rewarded for his good deeds or anything. He lost his job. His relationships was going down hill because he had to keep his identity a secret. And Spider-Man had bad publicity in the media.

    Peter was starting to feel sad and just was really conflicted if he wanted to be Spider-Man anymore.

    For Peter, it's not about Power Levels but it's about struggling with whether he wanted to be Spider-Man still. However, Peter came to realize and be grateful with what he has, and with “great power comes great responsibility”, does his best to become Spider-Man once again. I'd argue just like Spider-Man 2, Best Wishes does a good job at that type of story. Just like the Gen 1 anime.

    Best Wishes does a good job with relationships with other characters and bonding and personally (it has a lot heart with how it depicts Ash and his journey).

    One important thing is that in real life competitions, 'everyone' is always training and practicing. In the StarCraft scene (for example), and even if someone was great in the past, that doesn't mean they'll still be good and be up to face against newcomers at all.

    Best Wishes gets a lot of bad rep because Ash seems to be reset. However, I'd argue Best Wishes does the best job at showing why Ash is the way he is (how he deals with lost and stuff). It's not just training the most but how they approach a situation and how they deal with loss. The question is what difference can a specific person can do to be the truly be the best? Ash in Best Wishes is very distinct.

    What I like about Ash in Gen 1 vs a lot of other anime protagonist is that I'd argue Ash has very realistic limitations and struggles with his attempts to attain his dreams. **In Gen 1, Ash just did not have anything go right at all. Ash was late, Pikachu did not listen to him, and later Charizard did not listen to him. Despite things never going his way, Ash always manages to have a lot of heart.** Like when Ash did his best to train by running to charge up Pikachu, and his relationship with his Pokemon. Another example is when Sabrina turned Misty and Brock into dolls, Ash had to find a way to get a Ghost Pokemon to beat Sabrina. He managed to get Haunter and it didn't work out at first but it did in the end.

    The way Ash acts in Best Wishes (examples with Keldeo, Meowth, all the Pokemon he caught in Unova, and his relationships) show why he can be the best.

    Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice - Keldeo challenges Kyurem but he ends up getting the other Sword of Justice frozen. Ash runs into him, and says "he'll take care of things" and goes off and does his best at trying to free the Sword of Justice even though he knows he has little chance at winning directly. I find the BW Trio to be very endearing. Ash and friends help Keldeo, do their best to fight Kyurem, and Ash and Keldeo form Ash Keldeo (which is like Ash Greninja but it came out before that)... and Keldeo still cannot win but Kyurem decides that Keldeo learned his lesson and the story is done. I really enjoyed the Ash Keldeo vs Kyurem fight, and when I finished Sword of Justice, I felt like I got into Pokemon again. That movie (and the Rival Destinies song) is a good representation on why I like Best Wishes.

    Another moment is when Meowth joined the BW Trio, and then later betrayed the BW Trio... Ash says that he had fun with Meowth (even after Meowth betraying him). While Best Wishes does not have the most powered up Ash, I'd argue it has the Ash with the most heart. Another great moment is the Butterfree throwback episode in Best Wishes. Finally, I enjoyed the ending to BW where Team Rocket traps the BW trio but the BW trio manageds to get out of the trap with Ash holding onto the ledge, Cilan next, and Iris next, and Iris swinging everyone up out of the trap to face Team Rocket again. The BW trio was a really fun dynamic. These are just some examples.

    Now, let's get into Ash's power level in Best Wishes. Pikachu vs Snivy (Trip's Snivy), in that episode Zekrom made Pikachu sick. So, the infamous Pikachu loses to a Snivy that never fought before, and there's that. However, when things got real (Ash vs the Forces of Nature), Ash can still do his best. Pikachu was able to fend off three legendaries (the Forces of Nature) at the Season 2 finale of the Best Wishes anime. So, when things mattered, Ash was still himself. I'd argue in terms of power levels, context matters a lot, and Best Wishes didn't really downgrade Ash (although Ash is definitely more laidback and goofier in Best Wishes, I'd say he was still himself when it was serious).

    Second, I like all the antagonists in Best Wishes. The thing about Trip is that he's just a random person that kind of acts like a jerk. Like someone you can randomly run into in PvP but he mellows out. Skyla is another good example. She decides who wins or loses based on the meta and type match ups. It's like if in MTG, someone just decides who wins or loses based on decks without even playing. I found Skyla (knows the meta and doesn't think playing is needed), Trip (some random person that kind of acts like a jerk but once you bond with him more, he kind of just mellows out and that's it), and other antagonists a lot fun. There's no real Gary or anything but I find just all the range of characters Ash would battle against interesting and fun.

    Finally, why Iris is my favorite. The reason why I like Iris is because she has a lot of empathy from her desires. Let's get straight to the point, while Iris does say “you're such a kid” (once an episode basically), in terms of actual interactions, Iris is probably the nicest and kindest companion. If I had to pick any companion, I'd pick Iris because she'd always defend you, and be with you, even if things aren't going well.

    [1.] When Ash first met Iris. Ash accidentally throws a Pokeball at Iris. Despite that though, Iris takes that introduction to be completely fine. Honestly, when I first started watching BW in VOD, I knew of the negativity Iris got but at this point, I never really got it. I mean, she's really nice in the intro episode and all the other episode. Most importantly though, in the third episode (BW003), Iris follows Ash and she tells Ash that she wanted to help show him the region. It's nice of Iris to want to show Ash around. My family and I moved to to the US in the 1980s from Asia. Honestly, if I had to pick a companion, I'd pick Iris because of that. Again, it's just honestly. If you can meet someone, how is Iris not a nice person when she wanted to show Ash around and help him and stuff.

    [2.] In that same episode (BW003), there is a moment where Ash is about to fall into water but Iris helps catch him. Later, when Trip insulted Ash, Iris defended him (most importantly; I'd argue there aren't that many cases of other companions defending Ash when he gets insulted as Iris does). Whenever Ash fell, Iris always ask if he was fine (“Ash, are you all right?” Again, at this point, how can people dislike Iris when she's really genuinely nice). Iris bought Ash ice cream. And one of my favorite moments is Roxie vs Ash. Ash was losing... and Iris managed to get bongo drums and did her best to cheer on Ash (BW084). It's really touching and heartwarming. I mean, the reason why I like BW is because it really had a lot of nice character dynamics like that. Finally, Iris defends her friends in BW098 (one of my favorites). BW098 is the one where Iris gets the others to crossdress, so that they can enter a competition to defend her friends' honor (Iris defends her friends that were insulted). It's really funny but at the same time really heartwarming too.

    [3.] Iris's strength in Best Wishes - Iris in Best Wishes is again, a good throwback to Ash in Gen 1. Before Best Wishes began, Iris won 99 times with Drilbur/Excadrill. So, Iris can win when it matters too. In the beginning of BW, Iris does her best to find Dragon type Pokemon (she just has Excadrill and Axew). At first, Iris was afraid of Dragons but she does her best to become a Dragon Master, and so while she does a good job with Excadrill, she tries to train Axew and get other Pokemon. But like Ash, Iris doesn't really (well, especially after the incident with Excadrill) push her Pokemon too much. So, she takes her time with her Pokemon after that incident.

    What I like about Iris is she has a lot of interesting dynamics that a lot of other companions do not have. First, I liked that she started off having a strained relationship with Excadrill.

    For example, I really like May in AG but May (and I'd argue same with a lot of other companions) did not have that many struggles displayed. May vs Harley. Harley tricks May (giving her the wrong info), and... May falls for it and still wins against Harley (after Ash cheers her on). May is a starting out, and she never really loses or has a dynamic or a story where she struggles with things. In the other series, when a character wanted a Pokemon, thet'd probably get that Pokemon. Basically, do a good deed (want a Pokemon or be nice to a Pokemon) to get a reward (catch Pokemon). Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed AG and May (it was refreshing) "but" honestly, I felt like each character in AG, DP, and XYZ were on more of a very scripted journey with scripted battles and scripted wins and losses. There wasn't as much dynamic with the characters and their struggles.

    What I like about Iris's story is that there are times where Iris wants a Pokemon like Tepig (BW004) or Deino (BW056), and Iris does not get that Pokemon. BW056 especially since Iris spent the whole episode staying with Deino since apparently his owner abandoned him (it turned out he was actually just late).

    Finally, when Iris managed to get Dragonite to join her, Dragonite did not listen to her at first and struggled. Iris worked really hard to get that Dragonite (defending it from others) but even then, things don't go her way.

    Again, I think this is a nice throwback to Gen 1 anime where nothing went Ash's way and he just did his best.

    [4.] As for Iris saying “you're such a kid”. In BW130, Iris's says “Aww” after Ash tells his story of his Butterfree. In an episode where Cilan and Ash are enjoying a view of a field, Iris says “you two are such kids” while later playing around in water later. When Iris says “you're such a kid”, I hardly say it's an insult at all. I'd argue she's saying it (when she's saying to Ash and Cilan) to mean that they're being cute to her.

    [5.] Personally, I find Iris really funny. Meowth says “Don't worry. I'm empty handed.” Iris replies with “Duh, you're a Pokemon”. Zorua transforms into Georgia (Iris's rival) in front of a camera, and and Iris hides behind the transformed Zorua, and says “Iris is the best” while Zorua lipsyncs for her. Honestly, there's a lot of these moments in Best Wishes and I find it really funny. Iris nice and a fun character to me.

    [6.] I'll finish this with saying that Iris has a lot of empathy, and what I like is that she has empathy from her desires. I mean, the way she acts and the way she wants (like wanting Deino) is why she defends her friends like in (BW098). Or when Trip insults Ash, and Iris defends Ash. There are very specific moments for Iris that are unique to her as a companion compared to all the others. In a lot of media, a person does nice things to save others or because they went through a tragedy or dark past but I find there's a lack of times where there are characters shown to do nice things because they understand what it feels like to want something.

    Anyway, that's my post and I hope it changes some people's mind about Best Wishes and Iris. While Best Wishes doesn't really focus on power levels, I'd argue it best show why Ash is the way he is. The Butterfree episode, his experience with having Meowth in the party (he said it was fun), and Sword of Justice Keldeo (Keldeo needed help, Ash knew he had little chance against Kyurem but said 'he'd take care of it'). As for Iris, again I find it really silly for people to dislike her when the only thing negative she does is say “you're such a kid” (which again, I'd argue isn't even an insult when used to Ash and Cilan; there's many times where Iris says “aww” or something else to Ash like in the Butterfree episode).

    In Twich Presents (2019), there were around 20k viewers at the beginning and still 20k at the end, and by the end of the last stream, most people said they liked it in chat. Again, I hope my post changes some people's mind about Best Wishes and Iris. Personally, I find the negativity around BW really exaggerated, and especially since I'd argue that Iris is actually one of the nicest and kindest companions (she defends Ash whenever he gets insulted, played bongo drums to cheer Ash on when Ash was losing to Roxie, and did not mind getting hit with a Pokeball by Ash and instead wanted to show Ash around the region since he was new to Unova). And while BW does not have Ash with the most power level (he can still do things when things get serious like Ash and Pikachu vs the Forces of Nature trio legendaries), BW does have Ash with the most heart (lots of nice throwbacks to Gen 1 Ash when he was starting out).

    While BW didn't have as much of a linear progression of battle to battle, gym to gym, rival to rival, I'd argue it did a good job of just showing a lot of character relationships and dynamics throughout the series. And every episode was really enjoyable to me, and I felt like I got to know the characters more and more each episode.

    Final note is that personally, I can understand if people didn't like BW since there was kind of a linear progression in the anime, and BW seemingly reset Ash. I caught up with and watched Pokemon basically in reverse order (Sun and Moon, XYZ, BW, DP, AG, back to OS, and another set of viewings during Twitch Presents for BW and XYZ again) in 2018 and 2019 (Twitch Presents). My first introduction to BW in the Sword of Justice Movie, and I only really watched it for the first time in 2018 (after XYZ actually). And so that's my thoughts and feelings on Best Wishes. Again, I hope my post can change people's mind about the BW series.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  2. SerGoldenhandtheJust

    SerGoldenhandtheJust Well-Known Member

    I really respect your thread and your passion here :)

    While BW may be my least fav series, i do think that yeah the hate is way out of proportion. Its really due to a few scenes the entire anime is hated such as
    1) Ash losing to a level 5 snivy. Personally I can understand that coz yeah Pikachu was sick but he still had two moves. Still i could buy that but trip just felt so unoriginal especially after Paul. And ash forgetting you have to weaken a Pokemon to capture it sucked
    2) Ash vs Elesa. No words needed
    3) Ash vs Cameron. No words needed

    Now if u ignore this and the Unova league, i do agree BW was fun a lot of the times. The Decolore arc was fun imo. Team plasma however sucked. I understand the earthquake situation but still. N was the only good thing about it
    As for Iris, yes she does get a lot of hate for one annoying catchphrase. But i personally think she can be a fun character i just didn't like how they had her arc go. It just didn't fulfill me.
    And cilan as an character was amazing, but his goal was so boring and his gag got boring soon enough.

    But there were many goods too. The small tournaments here and there were amazing. Everyone having rivals were amazing and except for trip i think i liked every rival even tho i hated how Cameron defeated Ash. I liked how everyone battled and i do like a lot of its humor. And i did like Meowth joining Ash team. But making TR lose their personality sucked. As shown later they can still be competent and have great personalities
     
    catzeye, RenaSO2, SerenaRulez and 2 others like this.
  3. TheWanderingMist

    TheWanderingMist Gaganga, Keeper of the Gates Impartial

    Note 1: The earthquake was largely irrelevant. The real reason for the Plasma debacle wad B2W2 being announced rather than the traditional 3rd upgraded version.
    Note 2: Levels don't exist in the anime and Pokemon are physical creatures not data.
     
  4. Kazuniya

    Kazuniya me when recognizing PM's wasted potential

    Lovely post.

    For all the talk of BW "disrupting" the continuity (because Ash was written differently), the series itself had so much more connection to past stories and gens than the previous series. Return of Dawn, Claire, CYNTHIA - Best Wishes celebrated continuity and didn't shy away from bringing back past characters. Compared to, say, XY, which feels largely isolated and self-contained in the grand scheme of things.

    Ash's competence is important, but it's not the only thing that matters.
     
    RenaSO2, wolf jani, Sham and 5 others like this.
  5. Spider-Phoenix

    Spider-Phoenix Go, Go Power Rangers

    That's a really good thread. BW was when I started to watch the anime again full time. And I've been watching it weekly consistently since then.

    It's been a fun ride. I still prefer XY overall but I'd say I like BW a lot more than, say, SM. I've found Iris to be a great character.

    I completly forgot she had defended Ash when Trip insulted him. My admiration for her just went up. Thank you!

    Another thing I love from Iris is that she got her first pokémon entirely by herself. Not being handled a pokéball in a silver platter like everyone else. She had to fight that Drillbur until she bonded with it and become its trainer.

    And it's implied she was around Max's and Bonnie's age when she got Dribul. While those two clinged to the technicality of not having the legal age, Iris just acted on it and became a trainer. That's really impressive.
     
  6. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I think Iris and Dent were great characters, although I can't defend all of Best Wishes because frankly there were a lot of moments in that saga that were frustrating to me, such as the handling of Bel and Shooti, the Isshu League in general, Operation Tempest, parts of Episode N, and especially the Decolora Archipelago arc. I still think that Best Wishes was a good saga and better than XY in my eyes, but it had a lot of flaws as well.
     
  7. mintellic

    mintellic Member

    BW had a lot of great ideas, I just wish they were executed better. For what it's worth I did like the first year worth of episodes, ignoring Ash being dumbed down and Trip being a pointless rival. But then sadly, it felt like the saga just fell apart as it went on. I don't know what it was, but it just felt like the writers completely gave up on the main characters, rivals, and pokemon after a certain point.

    Iris herself is underrated, if only because she didn't follow the rookie/incompetent female trainer route most of the other female companions start off as. I remember people being glad she wasn't another girly coordinator at the time too, because she came directly after Dawn. We actually had a female companion who didn't suck at battling for 75% of her run, so that was nice I guess.
     
    SerGoldenhandtheJust and Ubermuk like this.
  8. Kazuniya

    Kazuniya me when recognizing PM's wasted potential

    One small thing I really liked in Best Wishes was how each companion had their own rival. Then watching all the rivals come together and interact was hilarious. Iris/Georgia interactions never failed to amuse me, and Burgundy was such a nice foil to Cilan. There were so many supporting/recurring characters, it really felt nice.
     
  9. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    The thing about Iris being a competent battler is that I feel it actually sabotaged her character, because she ended up beating Satoshi in the first Don George tournament which irritated a lot of people, and then people began wondering why she was so bad at controlling her Doryuzu in spite of her having a 99 straight win streak when she was a young child. All of that worked against her in the long run, and I remember people calling her a Mary Sue after she defeated Langley and Hikari at the Pokemon World Tournament Junior Cup.
     
  10. Sham

    Sham Aang could never

    The BW rivals were atrocious but the chemistry was on point. Burgundy needed to fall off a cliff and I don’t know who a Trip is but other than that I enjoyed them.
     
    Leonhart likes this.
  11. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I liked Cabernet despite her being treated like a joke for the most part. Kenyan was the only Best Wishes rival that I genuinely disliked, and mostly because of his design, although his gag was a bit tiring as well.
     
    Sham likes this.
  12. Sham

    Sham Aang could never

    Burgendy was just a discount version of Georgia to me but more childish and less substance. I found her rivalry with Cilan to be weird and more so an obsession than an actual rivalry since they only battled once and Cilan always seemed indifferent towards her or neutral. Despite Bianca being a known poor battler she still had shinning moments but Burgendy was weak and annoying. I like Stephen and thought he had an interesting design. I wonder was his name gag similar in the Japanese version.
     
    Leonhart likes this.
  13. Spider-Phoenix

    Spider-Phoenix Go, Go Power Rangers

    I don't see why Iris beating Ash there would be irritating. Iris clearly had the upper hand with Excadrill being immune to Pikachu's electric attacks and resisting Quick Attack and Iron Tail. Ash screwed up by sending Pikachu there and he deserved that loss. And I say that as a big Ash fan.

    Also, Iris having trouble with Excadrill relates to the time that happened. She was younger than the normal age a trainer start her journey, it was her first time dealing with failure and loss. So, it's pretty much a case of both her and Excadrill being young, unexperience and immature. Which ties quit well with the irony of her whole thing of calling Ash "such a child" despite being a child herself.
     
  14. wolf jani

    wolf jani Warning: I might get Salty if Ash catches Lucario

    I disagree with most of what you said. But this is really well done post. You're great at expressing your opinion. In my opinion BW is the 2nd worst it's better than just SM imo
     
    Sham, SerenaRulez and Leonhart like this.
  15. Kazuniya

    Kazuniya me when recognizing PM's wasted potential

    Which is funny because despite Iris reaching the semi-finals and beating those two characters, the entire purpose of the tournament was to showcase that Dragonite doesn't really trust Iris and that it will take time before it can happen. Literally the tournament was about showcasing Iris having issues with Dragonite, and all people got out of it was 'Iris won, such a Mary Sue'. It's laughable, to be honest.
     
    RenaSO2, Sham, Spider-Phoenix and 2 others like this.
  16. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I thought Langley was one of the more pointless rivals out of the Best Wishes characters. I get that she and Iris disliked each other because Langley was a Dragon Buster and trained Ice-types to counter Dragon-types, but I always saw her as kind of redundant because I didn't feel that she really pushed Iris in a way that improved her character. She seemed like an antagonist just for the sake of having Iris bicker with someone.
     
    Sham likes this.
  17. SerenaRulez

    SerenaRulez Well-Known Member

    I thought Burgundy was the worst excuse for a rival in the whole show not just in Black and White. Cilan didn't even notice her most of the time so she felt like a waste.
     
  18. Sham

    Sham Aang could never

    Oh totally. The rivalry was only good in my eyes due to their chemistry and the dub made some pretty funny banter if I recall (not sure about the sub). I do like how Georgia was the first to call out Iris on her wins (which makes one of the first times the anime/a character acknowledges a BS win). So that was pretty cool. Overall her interactions with Burgendy and Iris made her likable and unlike Burgendy at least she was semi competent.
     
    Leonhart likes this.
  19. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I always thought it was meant to be more of a gag than a genuine rivalry, really. Dent didn't consider her a threat and he was generally nice to her, yet Cabernet was still obstinate and rude, and seeing her desperate attempts to make Dent angry were mildly entertaining.
     
  20. Ubermuk

    Ubermuk Sticky & Sweet

    Black & White gets too much crap flung at it for not being what people expected after Diamond & Pearl. I bet if Black & White had taken place between the Original Series and the AG saga most folks wouldn't have been so critical of it...
     
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