Pokémon has been going on for 20 years and although it is a fun series there are some points that are a little weak. Like Gen VI for example. For those that don’t know, Pokémon has a sort of formula going on when it comes to the generations. Essentially there will be a set of two games followed by a game that perfects the generation and fills in any plot holes. If we’re lucky they’ll give us a remake of a previous generation somewhere.
However when it came to Generation VI, all we got was a pair of games and a remake. The games weren’t good (the remakes were though), as they came with a lot of flaws. So I’m just going to go into a bit of a rant here: Sure the graphics are a huge improvement on Generation V’s graphics and it helped to balance the type chart. However, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y added far too few new Pokémon to the series with only 69 new additions (excluding event Pokémon). The new team was terrible and the grunts didn’t exactly know what they were fighting for. Heck, I don’t think the main antagonist knew what he was fighting for. I mean at the start he was against change and wanted to keep all the things in the world beautiful by making everything immortal? I don’t get it either, but it gets worse. Lysandre somehow went from “Let’s keep everything beautiful” to “Let’s fire a giant laser at the planet to kill everything.”
Also, I didn’t feel like Team Flare was scary enough. None of their actions make a difference. Oh, you shut down the power plant? Well, everything still seems to be going fine (apart from you not being able to reach Clemont). You took over the Pokéball factory? OK, didn’t make that much of a difference anyway. Oh, you are trying to catch an Abomasnow to perform experiments on? Well, it’s not that bad. Everything they do (sans the giant laser) is more of a mild annoyance than a threat. “But Tiberius, it’s a kids game. The bad guys aren’t meant to be threatening” I hear you say. Wrong. In the previous games Team Plasma froze an entire town and the mascot legendary tried to kill you.
There are a number of other things done poorly. For example, the Mega Evolution felt like a gimmick. There was basically no post-game outside of catching four legendaries (three of which you will already have if you played through LeafGreen, FireRed, HeartGold and SoulSilver) etc. but I think I’ve made my point. What was the point of these games if they were so lacking and didn’t get a third version to patch things up?
Well, I have two theories. The first is that Generation VI was a prototype for Generation VII and was only used so that Game Freak had more time to work on Pokémon Sun and Moon. This isn’t that surprising when you take into account the fact that Kalos is generally empty considering it’s the biggest region. I mean, about half the region is either a desert or a cave (or the ocean) where the Pokémon encounters are random. This also explains the lackluster plot and roster of new Pokémon available, as well as its focus on fan-service (Charizard and Mewtwo, two of the most popular and overrated Pokémon got two megas instead of one).
However, I think there is a bit more to it than that obvious theory. Pokémon has “evolved” beyond games. It now deals in toys, books and most importantly anime. While Gen V was undoubtedly one of the best generations in Pokémon, the same could not be said for its anime counterpart.
The anime for Sinnoh was one of the best, as it had much more emphasis on plot and character development. Sinnoh seems to be bringing Ash full circle and showing how much he has evolved as a trainer. Here’s a brief summary of Ash’s development over the years.
Kanto: Ash was an annoying brat who only cared about himself and didn’t legitimately win most of the gym battles (the badges were given to him).
Johto: Ash has learned to be a bit more selfless and has now started thinking of his Pokémon as well as himself but he still has a lot to learn and isn’t exactly empathetic (See the episode “Turning Over a New Bayleef“). He has also become more competent as a trainer actually winning gym battles instead of getting them given to him as if he’s running some kind of charity.
Hoenn: Ash has now become an experienced Pokémon trainer. Sure he has some things that he could still learn, but he’s competent enough to mentor May and Max on his journey. He is much more selfless, putting Pikachu’s (and several others) life above his own.
Sinnoh: Ash has taken all that experience in the past series and has used to better himself as a person and as a trainer. Ash is more mature and actually uses strategies as well as adapts when a Pokémon can’t maneuver as much as he would like.
Even though Ash lost the Sinnoh league, he lost with dignity. He doesn’t sulk and instead decides to move forward with his life. Now how did the writers think it was best to incorporate his character into Unova? By completely resetting his character so he’s the selfish, insensitive jerk that we knew back in Season 1.
The companions don’t fare much better either. Iris is a (NOTE: The following phrase/s have been redacted due to the violent nature of them) who thinks she’s mature but in reality is as much of a child as Ash is. Cilan is eccentric but just once could we have had an episode where he didn’t say “It’s evaluating time!” because that would have been great.
The Pokémon: Best Wishes anime sacrificed the plot and suffered the same problems X and Y had and more. Sure it looks nice but nice graphics aren’t what make a piece of media entertaining. It’s almost like they blew all their budget on how good the moves looked instead of focusing on the story. The league was dumb (Ash loses because some guy’s Riolu evolves) and they had to create another entire arc due to the writers not being prepared for a continuation of Generation VI.
I think you see where I’m going with this. Generation VI was indeed a prototype for Sun and Moon but it was also a test to see how good the new writers were at the anime. I mean, with the catastrophe that was Best Wishes, the old writers had to have gotten fired right? (NOTE: I have no proof of this and deny any claims that say I do). Well the test seems to have worked, because the XY anime is amazing. Ash’s character seems to have carried his development from Sinnoh and his team is badass.
By making the games lackluster, but making the anime epic, it would still keep the target audience (children) entertained. Though I’m more inclined to think that if the anime turned out to be another disaster, it wouldn’t have mattered if the games were equally bad. The new writers (NOTE: Again don’t know if it’s true or not) passed the test and are now ready for the anime when Ash eventually loses the Kalos league and moves his adventure to the Alola region. Still, only The Pokémon Company knows for sure.