Character replacing, when one more becomes one too many?
by, 29th October 2012 at 10:45 AM (1214 Views)
As we know pokemon started with formula of replacing characters after every 4 years since 2002 and while concept seemed nice in start, it started to wear of its initial positive aspect causing several ex main companions to end up replaced while halfway developed with open stories, eventually becoming abandoned.
Somehow i fail to see point in constantly adding new companions when there exists potential in older ones to do more and be further developed, just starting all over again with someone else rinse and repeat being deprived of chance for more meaningful growth considering he will never have chance to stay long enough for this.
It discourage people from investing in characters when its already known from start how they will end up forever abandoned and unfinished after departure anyway, being deprived of stable continuity based cast.
Im sure many were disappointed when May left, when she had potential to be done more not developing her own style as coordinator and not resolving rivalry with several characters.
Or take for example Misty departure which left lot to be desired with departure with several things in story ending unexplored and unfinished. Such as her goal of becoming water master, not knowing enough about her past, motives and various ambitions she had. I remember many people being disappointed that she left just when writers started to do something more significant with story with Whirl Cup.
Or Max who is doomed to rot forever at gym never starting his own journey or receiving his own pokemon.
Same goes for other characters which came or are about to come in future.
Now some people tend to say how it "keeps show fresh", but they are only dragged in false belief how they are getting something "new and exciting" ending up with essentially nothing more than new face. Its pretty poor justification too, since you can keep anime fresh with older characters too by giving them new outfits or change of design, new pokemon, new subplots in story or expanding on previous ones doing new, fresh things.
Plenty anime keep same cast and people still view show and characters fresh because writers continue to add new stuff, taking story and characters forward in undiscovered directions.
Its not needed for advertizing either when new games can be promoted without new characters necessarily joining main cast. Since older characters can promote new games through new pokemon or by partaking in new game side quests just fine as any new character would.
Which automatically gives them marketing value too being possible to promote games through them, while new characters being showed through guest appearances like they did with several game characters already like Lyra, Khouri, Jimmy etc. Never mind fact how many vital game protagonists over the years ending ignored in favor of keeping older cast like Ash, Brock or Jessie, James and Meowth.
Unfortunately because of their sexist, rather shallow reasons(mr. Shudo blogs or mr. Hidaka interview highlighted that) this show suffers from intermittent and unstable cast losing its identity.
Many people question why older main characters stopped making appearances,but in anime which changes so often cast its not hard to conclude why are past characters ignored.
So far 6 characters in total were replaced(Tracey, Max, May, Misty, Dawn and Brock)and there is no indication showing how such trend will change any time soon,so expect more to come in future.
With so many ex characters writers simply don't have time to include them anymore in each region even if its just cameos, regardless of unresolved story and potential character may have to bring more.
So what did excessive cycling brought up? Ton of unfinished characters being throw aside like garbage, getting rid of someone just when people finally grew attached to him and when writers dived into someone story allowing us to get character better.
It also brought nonexistent continuity and destroyed story with little to none references to past regions,friends or pokemon being presen, with anime which is supposed to exist in same timeline as one entity making it look like joke compared to other shows.
Yes there are shows which replace characters,but they also keep older one updating them and developing further("Inazuma Eleven Go" is one of better examples).
Every possible thing new characters brings older one can bring too, whether its humor, great interaction , new pokemon and exciting battles. But difference is that with older friends we can see them evolve and grow as persons more, with interaction changing and going to different level.
With constant cycling that cant be achieved because new incomers don't have any background starting out as beginners(in most cases) leaving after few years never to be seen again, preventing writers from doing continuation and inject more subtle changes to their story.
As series will continue on,number will increase more and more and years from now in future we will have some unknown girl or guy number 15, 17 or 20 traveling around with Ash, starting out and joining rest of crew of long forgotten and abandoned characters after usual 4 year run .
By than Misty,Brock, May, Dawn etc will be long forgotten ancient history, their stories will never receive closure, all potential which they might have to do more will diminish and with so many new characters joining main cast its unlikely if we will even see them ever again.
And as time flies forward all new girls about who people will out of joy jump around growing to like them will end up in same boat unfinished and erased like they never existed, just like it is happening with characters we older generations grew to like.
It definitely gives food for thought, making you ask yourself whats the point in all of this?
We already have so many characters with interesting personalities and unfinished stories on which writers could do build up taking them forward. There are so many new ideas and unexplored directions which could bring new life to Tracey, Misty, May, soon enough Cilan, Iris etc reinventing and adding a whole new interesting note to them.
We haven't seen them for so long that their return to cast would feel like getting new character, but someone with who we are familiar with injecting excitement of all entertaining things writers could do growing forward from where they stopped when leaving cast.
So why not have pokemon learn from writers of other shows which invest more in already popular characters doing sequel to their stories, becoming more deep (like Ben 10, One Piece, Naruto, Winx and many, many other shows out there)., instead of discarding them like trash?
Is our mentality really so narrow minded that we live under illusion how previous companions couldn't make this anime interesting?
Do we really need to end with ton of new companions in every region , just to see them erased forever once generation from which they came in ended?
Phrase "they had their time" doesn't mean it would be mistake to develop them more, and its always fresh and nice to see all time favorite return getting update going through new directions.
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