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Why did the writers gave Serena so little focus compared to May and Dawn?

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DatsRight

Well-Known Member
As said it may not have been the primary point but those things still sure as hell happened.

I bring up Team Rocket because they were often her only opponent besides other grunt level characters. I could point out battle rivals but there were none. :p Before the haircut Serena could rarely handle even them (she couldn't handle MEOWTH fighting back for crying out loud) and TR still had that tint of BW not-so-harmless feel to them, which was abandoned the moment the haircut happened, making it rather suspicious. Again getting stronger might not have been the point, but it still felt like writers wanted to force in some superficial strong moments anyway, and fans sure as hell know they shoehorned TR curb stomps throughout XYZ, even worse than previous series.

It wasn't just Team Rocket anyway, the showcases, everything up until Team Flare. It might not have stuck out so much if there weren't so many enforced actionised/quest/competition seeking moments in XY(Z) compared to other series and the fact Serena literally NEVER lost or struggled in any of them without some flukey excuse. She worked great in those token times they could do a laid back episode, but of course those had to be the minority because XY was supposed to be a more intense 'epic' series, even if superficially so at times, thus Serena's character was often stuck working against the medium and not really merging or being interesting in the main plot, hence likely why it took so long for her to get rolling.

Serena probably would have worked better in SM's more slice of life setup where they could have just focused on her main appeal of personality and wouldn't be stuck trying to make her look superficially badass to keep to the plot necessities because it genuinely wouldn't need to be the point there.
 
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AshxSatoshi

Ice Aurelia
Can somone explain to me what growth did the haircut represent? I seen it as more of the writers wanting to showcase character desgins in the XY games. Because literally after the part where she changes her clothes she goes back to being shy around Ash... using the same combonations in showcases and well being a backround character. It almost reminded me of when Sakura cut her hair and went back to being a background chatacter most of part 1 of Naruto
 

OshyHikari

c l a r i t y
Can somone explain to me what growth did the haircut represent? I seen it as more of the writers wanting to showcase character desgins in the XY games. Because literally after the part where she changes her clothes she goes back to being shy around Ash... using the same combonations in showcases and well being a backround character. It almost reminded me of when Sakura cut her hair and went back to being a background chatacter most of part 1 of Naruto
Serena's haircut scene is meant to symbolise that a girl cutting their hair means they want to start a new chapter, almost like starting anew, in Asian culture. Serena was basically starting a new chapter, as a Performer, when her haircut happened.
 

Psychotic

NotLikeThis
How about the fact she got fewer episodes? I guess people don't like to bring this up because they ostensibly prefer shorter sagas but there is no doubt she(and every character in XY) would have faired better if XY was 190 episodes like DP . Comparing Dawn/May to Serena and not bringing this point up is completely disingenuous.
 

Heekful

French Pokefan
"Why did the writers gave Serena so little focus compared to May and Dawn?"

Maybe because May and Dawn got more than 190 episodes in their saga ? XY only lasted 140 episodes with 4 main characters in the cast , while Dawn had only Brock (the third wheel in DP) and Ash with her.

Serena had Ash , Bonnie , Clemont and a shortest series. May had 192 episodes and a cameo in D/P , so it makes sense that they had more focus than Serena and it's the same for Iris , she also got only 25 episodes because B/W lasted only for 141 episodes (and Iris actually didn't have 3 characters travelling with her , she had only 2 and she got a special episode).

Oh and I don't buy the "26 episodes" by Bulbapedia, when you see that XY059 is listed as a Clemont focusing episode when he basically did nothing in this episode , Serena should at least have one more episode like XY008, for me XY008 was focused more on Serena than Ash.
 

AshxSatoshi

Ice Aurelia
"Why did the writers gave Serena so little focus compared to May and Dawn?"

Maybe because May and Dawn got more than 190 episodes in their saga ? XY only lasted 140 episodes with 4 main characters in the cast , while Dawn had only Brock (the third wheel in DP) and Ash with her.

Serena had Ash , Bonnie , Clemont and a shortest series. May had 192 episodes and a cameo in D/P , so it makes sense that they had more focus than Serena and it's the same for Iris , she also got only 25 episodes because B/W lasted only for 141 episodes (and Iris actually didn't have 3 characters travelling with her , she had only 2 and she got a special episode).

Oh and I don't buy the "26 episodes" by Bulbapedia, when you see that XY059 is listed as a Clemont focusing episode when he basically did nothing in this episode , Serena should at least have one more episode like XY008, for me XY008 was focused more on Serena than Ash.
Keep in mind that DP had more filler episodes (which focuses on basically none of the MC just a random plot for the episode) while XY(Z) had way less fillers that explains the episode differences. Also May's cameo didnt even really add to her character and neither did Dawns... they just came back introduced some new pokemon/evolutions and thats really it.
 

MidnightMelody

Hopeful for Gen 8
Serena was ruined from Day 1. She should have kept the crush but make her the main rival and more around Ash's level I hate saying it but Iris was done better than Serena. I mean XY had a lack of real good rivals
 

Heekful

French Pokefan
Keep in mind that DP had more filler episodes (which focuses on basically none of the MC just a random plot for the episode) while XY(Z) had way less fillers that explains the episode differences. Also May's cameo didnt even really add to her character and neither did Dawns... they just came back introduced some new pokemon/evolutions and thats really it.
Talking about fillers is stupid, I can also tell you "hey there was fillers in X/Y and XY&Z had to focus on the Team Flare arc, Ash-Greninja arc and the league" but at the end DP and AG had 51 more episodes than XY (and DP had one less character to develop).

May's cameo pointless ? She got into the final of a contest , I don't see where it is pointless, Dawn still got a special and a cameo focused on her battle skills.

So at the end , it makes perfectly sense that May and Dawn got more focus than Serena and it's not because the writers didn't want to give Serena more focus , it's just that the XY series was shorter than AG and DP and had more characters to develop (One more travelling companion than DP , Korrina arc , Alain , Mairin etc...). Now if you want to think otherwise and want to debate about others things , do what you want.
 
This may not be how it actually went, but this is a possibility. It actually makes somewhat sense to me, since I've done similar in my writing.

They wanted her to be the romantic interest. They knew the key points of where they wanted her crush to prevail, and so they wrote those parts out. However, they then realised that they had to flesh out her character around the trait of her crush, and were stuck. I feel like maybe May and Dawn had their personality written before their interests, but Serena was first seen as "the romantic interest", rather than "Serena", if that makes sense.

Basically, May and Dawn were at first made to only fulfill the female companion role. Serena was at first made to fulfill two roles - the female companion and love interest role - and the love interest role was prioritised over personality when writing her character. Again, this is just speculation, but considering I've had problems like this while writing, it doesn't seem to far-fetched.
 

Jeal

Well-Known Member
How about the fact she got fewer episodes? I guess people don't like to bring this up because they ostensibly prefer shorter sagas but there is no doubt she(and every character in XY) would have faired better if XY was 190 episodes like DP . Comparing Dawn/May to Serena and not bringing this point up is completely disingenuous.
"Why did the writers gave Serena so little focus compared to May and Dawn?"

Maybe because May and Dawn got more than 190 episodes in their saga ? XY only lasted 140 episodes with 4 main characters in the cast , while Dawn had only Brock (the third wheel in DP) and Ash with her.

Serena had Ash , Bonnie , Clemont and a shortest series. May had 192 episodes and a cameo in D/P , so it makes sense that they had more focus than Serena and it's the same for Iris , she also got only 25 episodes because B/W lasted only for 141 episodes (and Iris actually didn't have 3 characters travelling with her , she had only 2 and she got a special episode).


.
I said in the first post that XY was shorter than AG and DP. But XY had many fillers between the first and second badge, which could have been used to develop Serena. The shorter series argument also does not explain why Dawn and May had a good amount of minutes dedicated to show the beginning of their journey, and Serena only a few seconds. It does not explain why May and Dawn had episodes devoted to their first battle and Serena's was off-screen. Does not explain her forty episodes in the background.

Serena should have been a co-protagonist, but she was treated as a male companion. She is the female player's counterpart, she deserved better than that.
 

AshxSatoshi

Ice Aurelia
Talking about fillers is stupid, I can also tell you "hey there was fillers in X/Y and XY&Z had to focus on the Team Flare arc, Ash-Greninja arc and the league" but at the end DP and AG had 51 more episodes than XY (and DP had one less character to develop).

May's cameo pointless ? She got into the final of a contest , I don't see where it is pointless, Dawn still got a special and a cameo focused on her battle skills.

So at the end , it makes perfectly sense that May and Dawn got more focus than Serena and it's not because the writers didn't want to give Serena more focus , it's just that the XY series was shorter than AG and DP and had more characters to develop (One more travelling companion than DP , Korrina arc , Alain , Mairin etc...). Now if you want to think otherwise and want to debate about others things , do what you want.
Well Iris got about 27 focused episodes and I still thought her development was decent quality over quantity. But yeah my point still stands about May and Dawns return. May getting into the finals is hardly an achievement more so expected of her. She was/is traveling her third region (Johto) in contests. Meanwhile most of the people in the wallace cup were first time coordinators (Dawn and Zoey) so it makes sense why she got in the finals... she had more experience. Also if Dawns reappearance was to show off her battling skills why did she lose to Iris yet having a 4x type advantage...? Now about your point of XY (Z) literally having just one more character than usual to develop... you do know Bonnie's only true development or at least most notable was during the team flare arc and by that time the master class arc was over right?
 
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LilligantLewis

Bonnie stan
This may not be how it actually went, but this is a possibility. It actually makes somewhat sense to me, since I've done similar in my writing.

They wanted her to be the romantic interest. They knew the key points of where they wanted her crush to prevail, and so they wrote those parts out. However, they then realised that they had to flesh out her character around the trait of her crush, and were stuck. I feel like maybe May and Dawn had their personality written before their interests, but Serena was first seen as "the romantic interest", rather than "Serena", if that makes sense.

Basically, May and Dawn were at first made to only fulfill the female companion role. Serena was at first made to fulfill two roles - the female companion and love interest role - and the love interest role was prioritised over personality when writing her character. Again, this is just speculation, but considering I've had problems like this while writing, it doesn't seem to far-fetched.
Good theory

Also if Dawns reappearance was to show off her battling skills why did she lose to Iris yet having a 4x type advantage...?
So that they can continue the "current girl beats previous girl"
 

Psychotic

NotLikeThis
Well Iris got about 27 focused episodes and I still thought her development was decent quality over quantity. But yeah my point still stands about May and Dawns return. May getting into the finals is hardly an achievement more so expected of her. She was/is traveling her third region (Johto) in contests. Meanwhile most of the people in the wallace cup were first time coordinators (Dawn and Zoey) so it makes sense why she got in the finals... she had more experience. Also if Dawns reappearance was to show off her battling skills why did she lose to Iris yet having a 4x type advantage...? Now about your point of XY (Z) literally having just one more character than usual to develop... you do know Bonnie's only true development or at least most notable was during the team flare arc and by that time the master class arc was over right?
TIL 2 people are "most of the people in the wallace cup".

It doesn't matter if you think it was expected of her or not. Win or lose, expected or unexpected the fact is it was a period where she got "focus" aka noteworthy screentime and means it wasn't pointless.
 

AshxSatoshi

Ice Aurelia
TIL 2 people are "most of the people in the wallace cup".

It doesn't matter if you think it was expected of her or not. Win or lose, expected or unexpected the fact is it was a period where she got "focus" aka noteworthy screentime and means it wasn't pointless.
If you want to be technical May's whole "focus" was Dawns focus considering they only returned May so Dawn can beat her but whatever you say I guess. Also nobody even said May didnt get focus during her cameo but development? No. She didn't reach impressive feats in her return episodes because like I said she won against a trainer (Zoey) who had WAY less exprience than her. So the odds were clearly in her favor. So like I said barely an achievement imo.
 

MidnightMelody

Hopeful for Gen 8
Wait was it confirmed Zoey was a novice?
 

AshxSatoshi

Ice Aurelia
Wait was it confirmed Zoey was a novice?
In the anime its implied since before she meets Dawn she only has 3 ribbons and her first contest win was aginst Kenny who's also in Sinnoh
 

U.N. Owen

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...
It's almost as if the writers in the room did not know that people liked well-written characters rather than shipping fodder and decided to last-minute an arc for her.
 

Pokegirl Fan~

Lillie's sister
It's almost as if the writers in the room did not know that people liked well-written characters rather than shipping fodder and decided to last-minute an arc for her.
That seems like it's part of the problem imo. Having her have a crush on Ash is fine however the writers should have made her development and career/goal the main focus instead of using fanservice and shipping bait as the basis for her character.
 
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