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Dogasu

Why can't people accept that the BW Rocket trio is hopelessly incompetent?

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by , 20th January 2012 at 10:55 PM (758 Views)
Seriously, no matter how many incompetent, negligent, or just flat-out dumb stuff the trio does to screw up their missions, everyone still talks as if they got this huge intelligence boost at the beginning of Best Wishes!. The mental gymnastics people have to go through to convince themselves that they're a smarter group of villains now is insane.

Are people just so used to using "competent" that they've forgotten what the word actually means?
Hidden Mew likes this.

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  1. Shiny Shinx's Avatar
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    I don't care. I still love them. THEY = AWESOME
  2. Yoshi-san's Avatar
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    It's Rule Of Cool in play here. BW!TRio's track record for failures and successes didn't change that much, however the way they are written now as actually threats instead of annoying derps is what people like about them in BW.

    Plus you can be competent without winning all the time.
  3. Archaic's Avatar
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    You have to admit, relative to their level of success in the past, they're doing a hell of a lot better than they used to be. They're losing, but they're no longer losing in such an uncool manner. A strategic retreat with jetpacks is a lot more stylish than being blown away every time.

    Also....mathematically, going from an IQ of 0 to an IQ of 10 (the IQ of 10 PE teachers) is an increase of infinite percent. ;)
    Updated 21st January 2012 at 12:24 AM by Archaic
  4. Dogasu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi-san
    Plus you can be competent without winning all the time.
    I have never once argued otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archaic
    You have to admit, relative to their level of success in the past, they're doing a hell of a lot better than they used to be.
    I don't have to admit that because they're not. They haven't accomplished as much in BW as they did at this same point in DP, for example.

    A strategic retreat with jetpacks is a lot more stylish than being blown away every time.
    The "blasting off with jetpacks" thing is just "blasting off" with different animation. It's the same damn thing.
  5. Meron's Avatar
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    I think by "competent" people mean "cool", instead of how "derp" they used to be.
    Updated 21st January 2012 at 06:31 AM by Meron
  6. Dogasu's Avatar
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    Well, then they should say "cool" then instead of acting like the two words are synonyms.
  7. Archaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu
    I don't have to admit that because they're not. They haven't accomplished as much in BW as they did at this same point in DP, for example.
    I'd have to go back and read Bulbapedia episode summaries to check, but I'm fairly sure that in DP they didn't have any unqualified successes against Satoshi-tachi. For example, BW036. Rocket Dan's hacking of the Professor's computers was completely successful, and they got away with that information without her or Satoshi-tachi ever realizing. They lost their battle to try and capture the awakened ancient Pokémon, but that wasn't ever part of their mission objectives, that was something they tried opportunistically. When they recognized they were overmatched, they strategically retreated rather than have the crap be blown out of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu
    The "blasting off with jetpacks" thing is just "blasting off" with different animation. It's the same damn thing.
    I have to disagree on that one. A strategic retreat is different to a complete rout. While not true of every time they've made an appearance, in many cases now they're retreating on their own terms. Regardless of it being on their own terms or not, they're also retreating in a disciplined manner, rather than breaking and fleeing.

    To use a Chess analogy, they're losing by tipping their King when they realize that checkmate is certain, rather than struggling piteously until checkmate.
    Yoshi-san likes this.
    Updated 21st January 2012 at 11:41 AM by Archaic
  8. Dogasu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archaic
    I'd have to go back and read Bulbapedia episode summaries to check, but I'm fairly sure that in DP they didn't have any unqualified successes against Satoshi-tachi.
    Musashi beat Hikari in a Pokemon Contest and obtained her first Ribbon.

    You also have to remember that, back in DP, they didn't really have any concrete missions. They didn't have their own professor, they didn't have any help from the Rocket-Dan as a whole, and they weren't supplied weapons / maps / machinery. If headquarters had told them to steal some data from this place or nab a rock from that place in the Shin'ou region, and then given them all the equipment to do so, and constant guidance, then yeah, that list would probably be longer.

    A strategic retreat is different to a complete rout. While not true of every time they've made an appearance, in many cases now they're retreating on their own terms. Regardless of it being on their own terms or not, they're also retreating in a disciplined manner, rather than breaking and fleeing.
    In most episodes, a pokemon fires off an attack, it hits the Rocket trio, and there's a big explosion. The next shot is of the Rocket trio flying through the air, talking to each other about how frustrated they are that they failed and how they'll get them next time.

    This basic formula is still there, virtually unchanged. The difference now is that the animators drew jet packs on their backs and gave them bored expressions on their faces.
    TeddiUrsa and Shadow Victini like this.
  9. Archaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu
    Musashi beat Hikari in a Pokemon Contest and obtained her first Ribbon.

    You also have to remember that, back in DP, they didn't really have any concrete missions. They didn't have their own professor, they didn't have any help from the Rocket-Dan as a whole, and they weren't supplied weapons / maps / machinery. If headquarters had told them to steal some data from this place or nab a rock from that place in the Shin'ou region, and then given them all the equipment to do so, and constant guidance, then yeah, that list would probably be longer.
    I'm not sure if I'd really count the contests, since it wasn't really part of their core mission as Team Rocket members, but if that's all there is than I'd say that Team Rocket has had more success now than before. Their failures also have transformed from clearly and obviously going to fail (From an in-story perspective rather than an overall plotting perspective) to nailbiters where it's not entirely obvious that they're going to immediately lose. Or to put it another way....sure, it's a shounen anime, we know it's very very unlikely that the bad guys will ever be allowed to win a major victory, and any major victory they do win is almost certain to be undone in the next episode. But just because we know from a thematic standpoint that the bad guys winning is highly unlikely to impossible doesn't mean that from an in-story perspective that they can't be presented as a more serious threat.

    It's true that they may have been more successful in DP if they've been given the same support they are now, but part of the point there I think is that they never would've been given that kind of support before, due to how they wanted to portray the characters. You could not have given that support to the Rocket trio back in DP without changing their slapstick comedy nature at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu
    In most episodes, a pokemon fires off an attack, it hits the Rocket trio, and there's a big explosion. The next shot is of the Rocket trio flying through the air, talking to each other about how frustrated they are that they failed and how they'll get them next time.

    This basic formula is still there, virtually unchanged. The difference now is that the animators drew jet packs on their backs and gave them bored expressions on their faces.
    From a storyboarding standpoint, there's no change in the formula. From a thematic standpoint, that's a huge change in the way the characters are being portrayed. Just because the plot's being railroaded in the same way doesn't mean that characterization can't change or hasn't changed. When people are thinking of the Rocket's as now being much more competent, they're thinking in terms of how they're being characterized rather than their actual success rate.
  10. Dogasu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archaic
    You could not have given that support to the Rocket trio back in DP without changing their slapstick comedy nature at the time.
    No, no, a million times no. "Being competent" (which the BW trio is not) and being "comedic" are not mutually exclusive things.

    When people are thinking of the Rocket's as now being much more competent, they're thinking in terms of how they're being characterized rather than their actual success rate.
    I'm just going to copy and paste what I said earlier when that same thing was said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogasu
    Well, then they should say "cool" then instead of acting like the two words are synonyms.
    I mean, let's look at the Raimon City Subway arc. The Rocket-Dan put Pikachu in a wire ball...thing that didn't restrict its movements in any way whatsover. They could have actually tied it up better, or fixed it so it was in a cage that absorbed its electric attacks - but they didn't.

    They then put it in a car where all the Monster Balls were overflowing from these boxes, just laying out in the open. So even if Pikachu *was* confined properly, there was still the chance that a Monster Ball or seven would spill out if, say, they had to slam on the brakes all of a sudden. The trio could have put a lid on the box, or a tarp, or something. But they didn't.

    When the Pokemon eventually break free - and how could they not have? - Nyasu chooses to just straight up *igonre* this. "Oh well, you can't jump at this speed, bla bla bla, someone else will take care of this, bla bla bla, look how overly confident I am, bla bla bla." Later, when they eventually break out, he acts suprised that they didn't just sit there and give up. Really?

    Seger-Hakase came with his helicopter to re-capture them. But even if he *did* manage to grab them with that claw thing - which he didn't, because he sucks at UFO catchers, apparently - what then? The pokemon were already free by that point, and this helicopter had no weapons and no way to defend itself. Seger-Hakase would have been a sitting duck.

    And these are all from the same episode!

    Now let's look at the Kami trio arc. The Rocket-Dan captures the trio of legendary pokemon but are defeated because Satoshi and his friends attack their helicopter. You would think the Rocket-Dan would have done something to restrict the movements of Satoshi and his friends, or given the helicopter some way to fight back, considering how they fared the last time they pit their unarmed aircraft (which is definteily a million times better than those stupid old hot air balloons!) against their enemies. But they didn't. They just fly away, confident that Satoshi and his friends wouldn't lift a finger to try to stop them.


    I mean, *of course* the Rocket-Dan was going to fail in these episodes. They're the bad guys, after all. But it would be nice if the writers made it so that their failures weren't a result of the writers having them make incredibly boneheaded mistakes. Show them being smart and careful and thorough and then have Satoshi and friends be just a little bit smarter (and/or lucky). Make Satoshi actually *work* for his wins and have him show some of the creativity and quick thinking he's shown in his Gym Battles instead of making his enemies so mind numbingly incompetent that there's no way for him to lose.

    But of course, that would require the writers to actually try.

    The Rocket-Dan isn't more competent. Yes, the animators draw them with serious expressions on their faces all the time instead of having them smile. The music editors choose ominous music from the movies to play during their scenes instead of the more upbeat stuff from the previous series. The writers take plotlines that would have only taken one episode in the previous series and drag them out to six. But this is all cosmetic. If you look at their failures and then examine *why* they've failed, it's hard to come away from that feeling like they've gotten better at their jobs.

    I don't care how serious or confident they act, or how many cliched villain one-liners they deliver. They're still awful.
  11. The Fighting Misty's Avatar
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    I suppose another difference is they don't appear in most episodes anymore, and in many others when they appear they don't even interact with Ash and co. anymore.

    The mere fact that they aren't blasted off in every episode helps a lot. In fact, other than that stretch between Arty and Elesa, TR have rarely been blasted off.
    Trainer Yusuf likes this.

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