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Starters' treatment in the anime
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The anime has been accused of being stale and uninteresting for many years now, and the formulaic treatment of the starters owned by the protagonists is one of the major causes for this.
Let's review them.
Gen 1: Charizard >>>>> Bulbasaur=Squirtle
I don't think this one needs explaination. Neither Squirtle or Bulbasaur have been humiliated (unlike the likes of Torterra) and both are in fact pretty strong, but Charizard is a show-stealer and the writers manage to shoehorn him in every single season and even quite a few movies. Being one of the "Mon Sue" trio together with Pikachu and Infernape doesn't help either.
Gen 2: Quilava > Bayleef=Totodile
For a long time Gen 2 starters have been treated pretty evenly, surprisingly enough. Even though Bayleef evolved she didn't suddenly attract all the attention on her like Charmender did. Totodile was the comic relief of the trio but he was a relatively good battler. Then for some reason they decided to evolve Cyndaquil after 10 years, instantly learning Eruption in the process and acting as one of Ash's powerhouses in the Sinnoh league.
Gen 3: Scetile=Blaziken(May's)>>>Marshtomp(Brock's)
The only season where a non-fire starter got an equal treatment to the fire one. Giving Torchic to May was actually a good choice since Treecko didn't have to compete with it for screentime and popularity. Of course Mudkip got the shaft since it was given to the comic relief character. At least it earns points for being the only water starter who actually evolved, even if only once.
Gen 4: Infernape>>>>>>>>>>>>>Torterra>Piplup
Oh boy. Where do I even begin with this one. Infernape is to season 4 what Charizard is to the whole anime, i.e. a complete Mon Sue and writers' pet. Yes, we get it, Chimchar was mistreated by Paul and Infernape is very strong when he gets mad, there's no need to remind us that in every single episode where he appears.
Torterra's treatment was just cruel. He lost every single battle after evolving. Every.single.one. Remember that rather well-written scene where, as a Grotle, he seeked advice from Paul's Torterra? "WHO CARES. Infernape is cooler, let's focus all the attention on him instead!", said the writers.
And then we have Piplup, who was just a plain weak and annoying unfunny comic relief character for the entirety of the season.
Gen 5: Pignite>Snivy>Oshawott
Another generation where the bullied fire-type starter gets to evolve and eventually becomes the strongest of the trio? What a shocker.
Snivy is a sad waste of potential. She started off as strong and interesting character, but she got essentially zero development (the 4 moves she starts with in her debut episode? That's all she gets) and during the second half of the season she starts getting a loss streak almost as bad as Torterra's.
And then we have Oshawott, i.e. Piplup V2. By far the weakest of the trio, attention whore unfunny comic relief that the writers didn't want to evolve because they needed to exploit its "cuteness" for marketing reasons.
Will Gen 6 finally break this stereotype? Even though I lost interest in the anime long time ago I hope so.
I think Froakie will get the cool Fire type treatment this time. I can't imagine Braixen appearing too often with Ash.
Chespin will probably be the Piplup/Oshawott this time around.
The importance stressed on Ash using fire types is symbolic of his burning desire to be the very best.
When he entered the Born league he had his dream ripped from him twice in Kanto and Johto. May was the one with passion. By the end of the Born league May sparked the flame back up in Ash to continue his dream.
Furthermore; the stress on sceptile was to show that he still had hope.Grass is weak to fire. It'll ignite with just a spark.
If ash focuses on Froakie this gen it would be symbolic of him giving up on his dream for the harsh reality of other trainers being better than him.
Neither Chespin or Fennekin seems to fit well with Ash, imo.
Would be nice if he went with Froakie.
Edit: Just saw the new trailer, he's definitely getting Froakie.
Currently playing: Fire Emblem, Mario and Luigi Dream Team, Tales of Xillia, FFXIV
Waiting for: Pokemon X/Y, Beyond: Two Souls, Kingdom Hearts 3
Infernape ruled tho
To say that Quilava was better than ash's Bayleef is stupid. He didn't even get Quilava until shinnoh. For the entire time of Gen 2 he only had Bayleef and Cyndaquil.
Beyond that I like what you're saying.
I am the great Kazoo! FEAR THE FEATHERS!!!
Judging from the new trailer it seems Froakie is replacing fire-type starters as the one that is hurt and needs to be helped by Ash. This is a good sign.
On the other hand Chespin is getting the Piplup/Oshawott treatment and Fennekin seems to be the "girly" one of the trio.
Hopefully they won't waste this chance.
Bayleef had the top billing in Johto. Unlike what people seem to assume about Ash's mon of the region, it is the strongest, above Heracross.
As for "Mon Sue", every trainer in the anime has an "anchor" mon. Ash included.
Also, lol at Squirtle not getting humiliated, in Kanto, he was treated worse than any other starter. His first battle ended with him OHKO'd by a fire attack, he lost every fight he ever participated in against Team Rocket, lost two more fights(he was the fall guy in the final match of the Kanto Arc).
During all of Kanto, he only ever won one fight- against one of Ash's only unnamed League opponents.
Squirtle was saved by later arcs.
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