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Controversial opinions

Honestly, I really wanted to see Ash travel to Paldea, catch some of its Pokemon and I really wanted him to get a Fuecoco. Part of the fun of speculating on each new series is wondering what Pokemon Ash will get, so losing that is kind of disappointing. It also probably doesn't help that I thought I'd never have to prepare myself for their departure from the anime.

I know plenty of people have argued that this is for the best for his character and I can understand some of those arguments, but it still feels less like they wanted to send Ash off on a high note or give him a satisfying conclusion to his story and more like they were tired of trying to write around his experience, which is a pretty big difference to me. It still feels like they could have figured out a way to keep him around like always without negating his accomplishments or nerfing him, if only because they've done that before. Maybe if it felt like Journeys was always planned to be his swan song as the main lead, this wouldn't bother me as much, but given how Ash, his team and Team Rocket have been handled, it still felt like this decision was made more like around the middle of Journeys instead of its main objective.
I agree and that's a reason why this feels bitter for me regarding the taste. If Journeys was to be that swan song, they did a very poor job in that regard given how the beginning half of the series played out, the required change in director midway, and all the rushing that happened towards the end when they remembered they had to do something with the Masters 8 (which they didn't even initially plan to fully animate); and don't even get me started with Go and how they factored him in. And that's nothing to say of the regional travel, which really should have been an opportunity for visits with those regions friends and notable acquaintances. His reserves should have gotten their final hurrah and spotlight given how they'll never be seen again, etc. It's just...wow.

And they didn't even let him fully soak in his victory of being a World Champion in-universe as we've seen no celebration or acknowledgment from his friends, barely any comments from Leon, nothing in the media or news or just the world of Pokémon - and now they're kicking him and Pikachu out as quickly as such an achievement happened.

Granted! We do still have the 11 episode series that may address at least some of my concerns, but I'm not too hopeful and my points should have all been addressed within the 136 episode saga and not an 11 episode special.

It also makes me upset because, having beaten Violet, Paldea would have been one of the best regions for the anime to adapt storyline-wise!
 
I agree and that's a reason why this feels bitter for me regarding the taste. If Journeys was to be that swan song, they did a very poor job in that regard given how the beginning half of the series played out, the required change in director midway, and all the rushing that happened towards the end when they remembered they had to do something with the Masters 8 (which they didn't even initially plan to fully animate); and don't even get me started with Go and how they factored him in. And that's nothing to say of the regional travel, which really should have been an opportunity for visits with those regions friends and notable acquaintances. His reserves should have gotten their final hurrah and spotlight given how they'll never be seen again, etc. It's just...wow.
I genuinely forgot about how they didn't initially plan for the non-Ash related Master Class battles to be animated. In a way, I wonder if it would have been better if they did skip those battles in retrospect. It would have rushed through the climax of the series, but it might have helped with their budget, they could have done more to celebrate Ash's victory and maybe these eleven episodes would be part of Journeys proper instead of a set of specials. At the very least, I think that changing their initial plans for the Master Class is a prime example as to why I don't think Journeys was planned well in general, let alone as Ash's swan song as the main lead. I've been trying to be more positive on Journeys, in large part because of how much I like Goh and how I think most of the episodes are pretty good/enjoyable, but this being Ash's sendoff series does paint it in more of a negative light, if not just make it more disappointing when it does make a lot of huge problems I had for the series significantly worse.

I didn't have much of a problem with Ash not using his reserves since they haven't used them in ages. I remember people saying that he should have just rotated his older Pokemon instead of getting new ones when his Journeys team had such lackluster screentime and development. Knowing what we know now, I kind of wonder why they didn't just do that or at least used them alongside Ash's Journeys team during the later half of the PWC. It would have provided some variety to his matches, could have made his victory against Champions more believable if it was blend between his old and current teams and would have given at least some of his more popular reserves some screentime before he was replaced.

And they didn't even let him fully soak in his victory of being a World Champion in-universe as we've seen no celebration or acknowledgment from his friends, barely any comments from Leon, nothing in the media or news or just the world of Pokémon - and now they're kicking him and Pikachu out as quickly as such an achievement happened.

Granted! We do still have the 11 episode series that may address at least some of my concerns, but I'm not too hopeful and my points should have all been addressed within the 136 episode saga and not an 11 episode special.

It also makes me upset because, having beaten Violet, Paldea would have been one of the best regions for the anime to adapt storyline-wise!
I kind of don't mind too much about not having a big celebration of his World Champion title. Ash moving onto his next adventure instead of focusing on his accomplishment does fit more with his character. It might have been better if they established why Ash wants to keep moving ahead in this case, especially when he didn't hear of anything about new Pokemon or anything this time either. It probably doesn't help to replace Ash and Pikachu without doing more to hype up their achievement beforehand too. The ending of Journeys where Ash is battling a random trainer's Lapras while the narrator says that his adventures will continue is kind of reassuring in a way. Although, another part of me thinks that if they can have Ash battling against random nobodies even after becoming the World Champion, they could have found some way to keep him around as the main lead.

I'm still probably in the middle of the storyline in Scarlet/Violet, but I would have loved for Ash to be featured in their adaptation of the storyline too. I'm hopeful that we'll still get some kind of adaptation in the new series. Even Journeys did cover the Sword/Shield climax and with the new characters having the Paldea starters, hopefully they will provide at least a bit more attention to Paldea than they did with Galar.
 
Honestly Ash leaving is one of the best decisions the anime made. I honestly prefer him leaving in JN than Ash staying for another 100+ years. Even if the writing.ay be better next gen. Even if the new anime writing may not be for me, I still prefer if he leaves. It's been 25+ years. Even if they could write him something in paldea there only so much you can push pass legit the world strongest trainer. Yeah JN cod of been written much better, but I don't think that really makes their decision wrong in any way

Besides I found Ash personality nowadays so uninteresting that a good story like paldea isn't gonna mean much if ash himself isn't that fun to watch.

Honestly I'm more happy TR is leaving. At least Ash gets to be world monarch and leave with a bang. Tf do TR get? What do they ever get? Constant resets of their development. Jessi showcase and contest never mentioned, Meowth development amounts to just falling in love with another cat Pokemon, James is just there half the time. All their mons is either left behind or given to TR. And instead of retiring they decide to chase a boy and his rat for all eternity. Good riddens. I don't hate them, but they have been so disappointing

Paldea could of written them well, but let's not kid ourselves. They would be reset in gen 10. An ACTUAL reset. Unlike Ash who still keeps his experience. TR will always be jobbers for end of episode conflict garbage
 
My issue isn't that it's necessarily wrong to replace Ash because of how Journeys was written. On paper, it's a great note for Ash to go on, but because of my issues with the series, it feels a lot more hollow than it should. The fact that I really doubt that this was their main objective with Journeys from the start given how the first year went really doesn't help either.

I understand the appeal of having a clean slate for the writers when they don't have to write around Ash's experience now. I just never thought that having Ash around was a problem for the anime. It often felt like people treated him like a scapegoat for the anime's issues, as if the series would have drastically better writing with a different lead. They have more freedom to wipe their slate clean in every series and that can help them out with what they want to do with each new lead in the future, but I just don't think that necessarily means that they'll have better writing or more likable/interesting personalities either.
 
^ Wanting Ash's story to end was never about "fixing" the anime and I doubt most people think it automatically solves every problem, it was about giving him closure after decades of repeating the gym quest, failing and only getting somewhat better each time.

I've wanted a fresh start for a while now, not because I'm high and think it will magically make the writing better but because this way I can finally follow a new pokemon journey that hasn't yet made me believe I'll be dead before it concludes.

Which sort of leads into my unpopular opinion: the new show should not involve Ash or any other old characters, and if old game characters that existed in the old anime appear (like gym leaders, champions etc), they should be AU and not the same ones from the Ash-era. No to "Ash should mentor the new trainers", and absolutely no to "they should be Ash's children!", which are takes I've seen an absolute ton of. The cleaner the slate the better, it means less baggage. I want the characters to finally be in a universe where time passes somewhat normally, and for the characters to be able to grow up.
 
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^ Wanting Ash's story to end was never about "fixing" the anime and I doubt most people think it automatically solves every problem, it was about giving him closure after decades of repeating the gym quest, failing and only getting somewhat better each time.

I've wanted a fresh start for a while now, not because I'm high and think it will magically make the writing better but because this way I can finally follow a new pokemon journey that hasn't yet made me believe I'll be dead before it concludes.
I've seen people for years treating the idea of replacing Ash would fix the anime or significantly improve it. I don't know if that has come up as much since the announcement, at least within the fanbase, but I don't think it's uncommon. Most people complaining about him sticking around so long weren't interested in giving him closure either, at least in my experience.

Honestly, I never really had a problem with the notion of Ash's adventures would just continue on as long as the anime existed. The anime has always emphasized that it was the journey, not the destination, that mattered. The anime has never been story driven to the point where it felt like Ash's story needed closure, especially when being a Pokemon Master is vague on purpose so he could keep traveling wherever they wanted him to. To be clear, I don't think it's bad to want a new Pokemon journey or to follow a new lead character. I just never had much issue with Ash as the main lead or how his story had no conclusion when that wasn't really the main focus of the anime.
 
Yeah it's about the journey, but it's been 25+ years already. Ash having closure doesn't suddenly mean I'm the anime isn't about the journey. That's why people put up with him losing 7 leagues and some resets. The staff deciding to end Ash story doesn't suddenly mean the destination is what's more important
 
Yeah it's about the journey, but it's been 25+ years already. Ash having closure doesn't suddenly mean I'm the anime isn't about the journey. That's why people put up with him losing 7 leagues and some resets. The staff deciding to end Ash story doesn't suddenly mean the destination is what's more important
It kind of does, or at least deciding to end Ash's story at this point gives off that impression to me. The fact that it's been twenty five years makes it more jarring on paper to replace him now. My point is that it never felt like Ash really needed closure when they've been more than content on keeping him around for decades.
 
It kind of does, or at least deciding to end Ash's story at this point gives off that impression to me. The fact that it's been twenty five years makes it more jarring on paper to replace him now. My point is that it never felt like Ash really needed closure when they've been more than content on keeping him around for decades.
Not really. The fact that the staff admitted they basically nerf him in some way shows they themselves were having issues with writing him. They got away with it (sorta) because winning a league is something they can do constantly and an easy end goal to write for the anime.

Also idk, it sounds like unless Ash goes for infinity and beyond than the anime will automatically be about the destination? Are we gonna ignore the constant loses, trails, wins, etc he gained in 25+ years. So if he gets closure in gen 30 then will it still be about the destination?

I hope I'm not coming off as rude, I just trying to see your point.
 
Not really. The fact that the staff admitted they basically nerf him in some way shows they themselves were having issues with writing him. They got away with it (sorta) because winning a league is something they can do constantly and an easy end goal to write for the anime.

Also idk, it sounds like unless Ash goes for infinity and beyond than the anime will automatically be about the destination? Are we gonna ignore the constant loses, trails, wins, etc he gained in 25+ years. So if he gets closure in gen 30 then will it still be about the destination?

I hope I'm not coming off as rude, I just trying to see your point.
I'm trying to say because of how the anime has emphasized the journey is more important than the destination, it never felt like Ash needed closure or needed to be replaced. Changing him now just feels too jarring for me with that in mind. The fact that it still feels less like they wanted to give Ash's story a natural conclusion and more like they were tired of writing around his experience probably doesn't help matters either.
 
I'm trying to say because of how the anime has emphasized the journey is more important than the destination, it never felt like Ash needed closure or needed to be replaced. Changing him now just feels too jarring for me with that in mind. The fact that it still feels less like they wanted to give Ash's story a natural conclusion and more like they were tired of writing around his experience probably doesn't help matters either.
Why can't it be both. I don't think it's fair to say that the writers were just tired of Ash. It looks like both. They were tired of nerfing Ash and they also realized this is where his story should end. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. To me it does feel like Ash needed closure. Just because the anime is about the destination doesn't automatically mean Ash should go on for infinity and beyond
 
Why can't it be both. I don't think it's fair to say that the writers were just tired of Ash. It looks like both. They were tired of nerfing Ash and they also realized this is where his story should end. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. To me it does feel like Ash needed closure. Just because the anime is about the destination doesn't automatically mean Ash should go on for infinity and beyond
Here’s another aspect too. I just started a watch of Indigo League in Japanese for the first time, and there’s been multiple instances of the narrator saying things like “As Ash works hard to become the greatest trainer”. There’s also things like Gary saying that he’ll become the trainer from Pallet Town known all around the world, which Ash ended up being instead. These early episodes feel very different now that Ash canonically became the World Champion much later on, and these seemingly empty words suddenly have this weight to them that they didn’t have before. If the story continued after Journeys, the meanings of these quotes wouldn’t change, so it kinda gives the feeling of beating a dead horse in a sense. If Ash’s story ended after the Johto League, Sinnoh League, Kalos League, or whatever, Ash would not be the “greatest trainer”. However, since he is canonically best in the world by the end of Journeys, he actually is the “greatest trainer”. Journeys gave a solid feeling of conclusion that doesn’t need anything else added on to it. That’s what I believe you are trying to say, and I couldn’t agree with you any more.
 
Why can't it be both. I don't think it's fair to say that the writers were just tired of Ash. It looks like both. They were tired of nerfing Ash and they also realized this is where his story should end. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. To me it does feel like Ash needed closure. Just because the anime is about the destination doesn't automatically mean Ash should go on for infinity and beyond
I'm less confident about them believing that this is where Ash's story should end when I highly doubt that was the initial plan when Journeys began based on how its first year went. Plus, if they were interested in giving Ash's story a proper conclusion, they would not have waited twenty five years to do it. Outside of BW, they haven't really nerfed Ash significantly for years either. It could still be both, but I still have a stronger impression that they were tired of writing around Ash being an experienced trainer more so than anything else.
 
I'm less confident about them believing that this is where Ash's story should end when I highly doubt that was the initial plan when Journeys began based on how its first year went. Plus, if they were interested in giving Ash's story a proper conclusion, they would not have waited twenty five years to do it. Outside of BW, they haven't really nerfed Ash significantly for years either. It could still be both, but I still have a stronger impression that they were tired of writing around Ash being an experienced trainer more so than anything else.
I mean they themselves said they nerf Ash and change his personality to fit every series. I'm gonna take their word for it


And Ash story ending with him beating a league which many people have done before isn't a proper conclusion in my book. Like handy man said Ash wanted to be the greatest trainer ever. Would it make sense to end his story beating a league. How does that make him the greatest? Many people have done that and will do that before and after him

PWC was the absolute perfect spot
 
I mean they themselves said they nerf Ash and change his personality to fit every series. I'm gonna take their word for it
Ash's personality/role would change based on whatever the writers wanted him to be, but I don't really see any noteworthy nerf of his skills as a trainer from XY, SM or Journeys. It certainly wasn't a major complaint in XY or SM like it was in BW at least.

And Ash story ending with him beating a league which many people have done before isn't a proper conclusion in my book. Like handy man said Ash wanted to be the greatest trainer ever. Would it make sense to end his story beating a league. How does that make him the greatest? Many people have done that and will do that before and after him

PWC was the absolute perfect spot
I already mentioned that it wouldn't be just the Sinnoh League. He could have entered the Champion League to battle against the Sinnoh Elite 4 and Cynthia. He wouldn't be a World Champion trainer, but getting to defeat the Elite 4 and Champion of the newest generation at the time could have worked too. Arguably, it could have been more satisfying when Ash was already at his peak during DP, raised his Pokemon from the ground up and they probably would have been more willing to use his reserves if he did go on to challenge the Champion League. To be fair, I'm biased here since DP is my favorite series and I have more problems with Journeys that makes this less of a satisfying note for Ash to go out on, but I think it could have worked.
 
Which sort of leads into my unpopular opinion: the new show should not involve Ash or any other old characters, and if old game characters that existed in the old anime appear (like gym leaders, champions etc), they should be AU and not the same ones from the Ash-era. No to "Ash should mentor the new trainers", and absolutely no to "they should be Ash's children!", which are takes I've seen an absolute ton of. The cleaner the slate the better, it means less baggage. I want the characters to finally be in a universe where time passes somewhat normally, and for the characters to be able to grow up.
I can’t disagree with this. I’ve been in the flame wars where people brought out their calipers and tried to find Liko’s traits to superimpose onto their favorite ship. The new cast will always be compared to Ash and his tenure for better or for worse. Tying them by blood or by lore will forever tether them to Ash.
 
Ash's personality/role would change based on whatever the writers wanted him to be, but I don't really see any noteworthy nerf of his skills as a trainer from XY, SM or Journeys. It certainly wasn't a major complaint in XY or SM like it was in BW at least.


I already mentioned that it wouldn't be just the Sinnoh League. He could have entered the Champion League to battle against the Sinnoh Elite 4 and Cynthia. He wouldn't be a World Champion trainer, but getting to defeat the Elite 4 and Champion of the newest generation at the time could have worked too. Arguably, it could have been more satisfying when Ash was already at his peak during DP, raised his Pokemon from the ground up and they probably would have been more willing to use his reserves if he did go on to challenge the Champion League. To be fair, I'm biased here since DP is my favorite series and I have more problems with Journeys that makes this less of a satisfying note for Ash to go out on, but I think it could have worked.
His nerf isn't as bad as BW, but the fact that he should be WAY more experienced and knowledgeable is a problem in itself. You may not have an issue with it, but many others and the writers themselves clearly did. Imo if your handicapping a character in any way constantly, then it's not you that's the problem. It's just the story has come to it's logical end. Also my issue is Ash personality as well. There is a reason why JN Bea arc was legit the only development he got. And it wasn't even good. Then they resorted in that awful Pikachu episode.

And I see your point with DP, but I'm not gonna spend too much time on what they could of done in the past, because yeah I agree. They shouldn't have made Leon the strongest in the world (I have personal gripes with that) regardless if Ash leaves. But now he is so oh well
 
His nerf isn't as bad as BW, but the fact that he should be WAY more experienced and knowledgeable is a problem in itself. You may not have an issue with it, but many others and the writers themselves clearly did. Imo if your handicapping a character in any way constantly, then it's not you that's the problem. It's just the story has come to it's logical end. Also my issue is Ash personality as well. There is a reason why JN Bea arc was legit the only development he got. And it wasn't even good. Then they resorted in that awful Pikachu episode.
I still think that Ash only getting development from his brief losing arc says more about the writing quality of Journeys than his personality or anything else. Ideally, they could have given him more conflict or struggles along the way than just that, especially if they were really set on making the PWC feel like a big deal, but then he never lost a match again after he tied with Bea, which was a really bad decision. He doesn't normally lose more than once or twice during a Gym badge quest, but having him struggle to climb through the Hyper Class would have been a good way to emphasize just how difficult the PWC is and how all the more impressive it was he got to the Master Class.

I actually did like the losing streak itself. It was one of the few times that using random nobodies in the PWC worked since it showed why Ash couldn't connect with Riolu in rapid fire matches. The resolution itself was pretty good, but then Ash just worked his way back to the Great Class off-screen, so that was weak. The Pikachu episode was pretty bad though.
 
The following things were established about the Pokémon World Championships, as early as JN012 and JN013:

• It is a worldwide tournament, instead of a regional tournament, like all of the other leagues.

• It had a massive pool of 10,000 participants, as opposed to other leagues like the Kalos League, which only had 64 participants.

• Leon was established as the winner of the previous season, and the current #1 seed of the following season, making him better than 9,999 other trainers by default.

• Lance was the runner-up of the previous season. The fact that a character like Lance was used for JN012 over a character like Raihan was to prove that this is a worldwide event after all, and it attracts top talent from all over the Pokémon world. If Lance could appear, any character could appear.

• Ash’s goal became to fight Leon again after their first match. If that is the case, then Ash was always guaranteed to place no less than second place. He had to win every match he could to reach Leon. Compare this to past opponents in previous leagues like Paul, Trip, or Alain, who he could have fought at any point in those previous leagues. Beating his rivals in previous leagues does not always guarantee first place, but beating Leon does, since he is guaranteed to be 1st seed.

Regardless of anything that happened between JN012 and JN132, the fact of the matter is that all of the ground rules of this series were already laid out early on. We already knew this tournament was the most important one by far. We already knew that Ash had to beat everyone else to beat Leon, as well as the implications of Ash beating strong trainers from previous series to get there. We already knew that this was going to be Ash’s most amazing accomplishment yet, because of all of these ground rules. Say what you will about continuing Ash’s story, but the fact of the matter is the stakes in Journeys were ludicrously higher than previous series, and they had to plan all of this out three years in advance. I disagree that Journeys being the end of Ash was a last minute decision, considering the PWC happened exactly as laid out by the writers three years prior. This was all planned out.
 
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