I really enjoyed this episode of Pokemon because it had great details and was really nice seeing both Ash and Bianca battle in this episode and the plot was nice to. The main reason This episode didn't get a 10 was because I can relate to people sayng that the writers seem to be making Ash weaker and weaker each region he goes to when he should be getting stronger!
Given Ash has been on his training journey for 15 seasons / years, you'd think the writers would realize Ash is STRONG. Come on folks, he's been at this for quite awhile. Even if you say time moves slower in his universe than ours, he's got to have 6 or 7 years of training under his belt.
While I found the episode exciting and given I round up my ratings (since TV.com gave up on the .1 rating and went with .5), I still have a problem with how weak the writers have been making Ash since he got to this region!! I've been pointing this situation out since the first review of season 14.
I know a main purpose of the series is to introduce new Pokemon cards, but this doesn't mean the writers need to treat Ash so poorly. The whole concept of Ash leaving his trained / developed Pokemon home or at another location (say for training) makes 100% sense given he wants to be a Pokemon Master! If he just kept using his same Pokemon, he never would learn about the many Pokemons that exist in his world. He'd never learn how to train them, as each one has his or her own unique personalities and hence training needs. I love seeing how the training is a two way street, as they learn from Ash (and his other Pokemon), he is learning from them..
Yet, the writers don't give Ash the credit he deserves in continuing to use techniques he learned in the past. we should see him teaching the existing (previously learned battle styles) to his new Pokemon. An example is where Ash and his Pokemon had to learn to dive and flip a few regions back, in order to beat a gym leader. It is a powerful move and a real life Ash should continue to use it and to teach it to his new Pokemon. When the writers fail to give us a real Ash, it makes the series harder to enjoy on an on-going basis and IMHO one reason why people drop away and end up disliking the series.
The major issue I have with the episode and the writers in the episode deals with Ash losing to Bianca's father. Besides having Ash now lose at beginning of both season 14 and 15, they show Ash doesn't keep his bets, word, nor does the honorable thing. It is Ash's honor that troubles me the most, as he's influencing kids and isn't honor important in Japan and to the writers. (Yeah, I have a thing right now for the writers. Well, maybe the producers, as the writers could be only following marching orders.). Ash should be should be heading home now and not continuing on his journey. No, I don't want to see Ash return home. The writers were WRONG to have him lose or to make the bet - if they were needing him to lose for some reason. Ash keeping his word is part of who Ash is and who we expect him to be in all things. As it is now, Ash's word means nothing when it comes to his promises and bets.
While I rated this episode as a 10, it is only because I couldn't rate it say 9.6 or so. I found it fun and exciting in all regards, except this STUPID aspect of making Ash so weak!
SUGGESTION: Allow Ash to keep more Pokemon (say 9, 6 new and 3 already trained ones). This way the Pokemon company can have reason to reissue Pokemon cards. In the story line, there are two reasons. First, it allows trained Pokemon a chance to help train, teach, and mentor new Pokemon. Second, it gives the trainer yet another aspect to teach his Pokemon (to mentor and help train other Pokemon). It could help some of Ash's Pokemon to be better and less self centered (such a Char falling asleep in battle). The ADVANTAGE for the company is these reintroduced Pokemons will need new cards reflecting new skills, their being mentors, etc. It can open up new combinations and even advanced tournaments and championship battles. Who knows it could expand the age range of the real world players or those watching the series
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