Reviews

Sep 16, 2019
ImRingo (All reviews)
Preliminary
I told myself not to do this but I'm going to do this anyways. When reading this, please keep in mind the following:

I've skipped around a lot with what episodes I watched. I did however watch all of the last 30ish episodes. All my current thoughts are directed towards the ending of the league and how I feel about it versus what happened/should have happened (imo) with XYZ and D/P.

So due to that, obvious spoilers for D/P, XYZ, and Sun and Moon incoming.

I'm part of that group that really feels like the writing ruined Pokemon as a whole with not only the conclusion of XYZ but also Diamond/Pearl. With D/P, we saw Ash at probably his best he has ever been at. He was proving to Paul over and over again how important love and care was to battling and his team was extremely well-balanced. Him losing that league was not a huge issue but some would argue it was. I'm neutral about it; the big win was him overcoming Paul.

In XYZ however, EVERYTHING pointed to Ash finally having everything he needed to win. The writing in this season pointed to Ash being calm and collected. It was obvious to anyone watching that he was on a bar much higher than anyone he was encountering leading up to the league. I will say that one fault he had was his over reliance on Greninja. It reminded me of the first season when Ash failed in the Pokemon League due to his over reliance of Charizard. However, it is not a completely apples to apples comparison since Greninja showed respect towards Ash while Charizard did not. Getting back on point, the writers gave clear indication that Ash was in the state of mind with the resources needed to win the league. Then out of left field, some dude with (at least) 3 legendary Pokemon wipes him out in the final. There is no poetic answer here; the writers decided to crap on all the character development Ash had leading up to this point. I would argue that there was 20 YEARS of character development leading up to this point.

To add onto this, in this season, we saw arguably the most cannon relationship you'll see in Pokemon with Serena. The way they concluded their time together as well as the childhood friend plot point just hammers the notion that the show should have ended with them, at least in some way, showing that they'll stick together. In my opinion, what makes the most sense given the writing I've seen, is that Ash should have won the league, finally finishing his quest. With that, he sticks with Serena as she continues on with hers becoming a full support role. Serena was there for Ash all this time, he would then do the same for her since his quest was finally over.

Now moving onto the crux of all of this, Ash winning the Sun/Moon league. I had been loosely keeping up with the show, watching episodes here and there. I however for the past couple of weeks have been keeping up with the league episodes for Sun and Moon. Ash winning this league feels like a huge cop out. All of this character development is gone, he didn't even have a full team, and he is arguably at his worst battle sense wise in the series. I don't understand why the writers would give him this achievement now. The moment that makes the most sense is in XYZ and if not there, D/P.

Let me take the time now to talk about the drastic change in visual style this show employed. Leading up to Sun and Moon, we had arguably the best comprise of animation versus artstyle in XYZ. The studio had achieved gorgeous and model accurate artwork while allowing the scenes that really need movement (the battle stuff) to have that fluidity. Yes the stuff outside of could and usually was pretty stiff. However, it was by no means hard to look at. It was a great comprise. With Sun and Moon, the studio decided to go into a bold and new direction. The artstyle was, in my opinion, downgraded to be more simple and expressive. This allowed the studio to go "off model" more often which speeds up the animation process. However, like with something such as Konosuba season 2, it is not to my liking because it can, in many instances, look like utter garbage. Yes it is expressive because that's one way to gain that effect; make the characters go over dramatic and really show their emotions. However, there needs to be a baseline that is present. Sun and Moon went too far into this new direction and it really hurts the brand in my opinion. The studio was working towards this drawn and cgi hybrid system for the past 10 or so years and it came to its apex in XYZ. With Sun and Moon going completely in a different direction, I cannot help but believe it was a silly mistake. If you like it, great. However it is an eye sore to watch.

The VAs are annoying but that's because the show is targeted to kids. Kids love loud, in-your-face type stuff. I don't. When there is suitable emotion, I liked it.

I'm not going to say something silly like I'm legit mad about this. I just find it so disappointing that all the pieces were there in the last series to have a seriously amazing conclusion to a +20 year journey. The state of mind was there, the team was there, the hardwork was there, and the (and I cannot believe I am saying this about Pokemon) romance element was there. It was all there in XYZ to give Ash the ending he deserved. Instead, we got this. It makes more sense to have had Ash win XYZ then act the exact same in Sun and Moon since, hey he just won the league time for a vacation. It seems like a pretty big dickslap to the fans.