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Ampharos King

World Tournament Junior Cup

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I am expressing my disappointment that the World Tournament Junior Cup will be handled so poorly. Despite the tournament's immense hype and promotion prior to the start of Best Wishes Season 2, despite it being sponsored by Cynthia (the Sinnoh region's Champion), despite Dawn travelling all the way from the Hoenn region just to compete here, and despite the prize of winning it all is a chance at battling the Unova region champ, the World Tournament Junior Cup is just another 16-person tournament.

This is not supposed to be one of those regional tournaments sponsored by Don George of the Battle Club, like the past two competitions were. One would think that a tournament in which two regional Champion masters are taking part would attract more than 16 competitors from around the world. After all, this is a "World Tournament," and it should take a large number of episodes to resolve. Instead, this Junior Cup will probably last four episodes, like the other two competitions in this series.

Another one of my complaints for this tournament is that Bianca and Stephan will not participate, which is very ironic considering that they are in the current opening alongside the main characters and Trip. To some extent, I am relieved that Bianca and Stephan won't appear this time, just because they had so much screentime during the Clubsplosion. It still does not make sense that Ash, Iris, and Cilan's main rivals will be participating but these "lesser" rivals won't. There was a lot of potential development that the writers could have invested here if they allowed Bianca and Stephan to compete her. Like Burgundy and her Darmanitan, we could have seen Bianca and Stephan use new pokemon this time. Unfortunately, this won't be the case.

Instead, nine of the sixteen competitors will be generic COTDs that will primarily use pokemon that have already been seen before. The only two exceptions to this are Reuniclus and Cinccino, which will debut in the anime for the first time during this tournament. Adding insult to injury, Cinccino is the evolved form of Minccino, a pokemon that Bianca is known to have. Another trainer will also use a Zebstrika; again, a pokemon species that Stephan has on his team. This tournament would have been more enjoyable to watch if Bianca was the one to use Cinccino, and Stephan was the one to use Zebstrika. Nope, sorry.

Aside from the COTDs, even the members of the major cast will use a lot of repetitive pokemon during this tournament. Ash will use his Leavanny yet again, even though it already had a starring role in the Roxie gym battle. Cilan is using his Pansage for the second time in a major competition. Oh, and instead of using the Vanilluxe that she was recently revealed to own just a few episodes ago, Georgia will use her "signature" Beartic once again. I actually liked Georgia's Vanilluxe for having a unique personality, and I wanted her to use it here. The main plotline of BW081 all started because Georgia wanted moss to power up her Vanilluxe's attacks, which shows that she had great interest in using it in battle. Unfortunately, that little subplot has been erased. My hopes have been dashed again.

Furthermore, this tournament should have featured a lot of the "past-gen" pokemon that are present in the BW2 games. Some of the older pokemon species have been featured in the anime again after the main characters traveled to eastern Unova. Since this tournament is expected to take place in Undella Town, it would have been very probable that trainers with pre-Gen V pokemon would compete here as well. Aside from Iris, who is using a pokemon not even in the Unova dex, Dawn is the only other exception to this rule, and only because she traveled from the Sinnoh region (or Hoenn, depends on how far she actually made it there) to compete here. I guess I should be grateful that there will be three pokemon anime debuts in this tournament, with Trip's Serperior being the third.

Finally, there has been this talk about Iris and her powerful, yet disobedient, Dragonite potentially winning the whole thing. We know that Iris and Georgia will battle one another in the first round, which would have been a good way to resolve their rivalry if Iris hadn't been "spoonfed" a powerful pokemon just ONE EPISODE prior to the Junior Cup.

Considering that Iris's Axew has had a lot more screentime lately, learned a powerful new attack, and was presented as Iris's main pokemon for the tournament in the opening, I am both surprised and disappointed that she won't use it here. Isn't Iris's main goal in this series to raise and evolve her Axew? She was seen training her Axew and Excadrill in BW087, which gave me the impression that the writers had actually wanted to focus on this little subplot during the tournament. But nope, Axew will stay in the sidelines yet again, and Iris will continue to ignore her primary goal in the series by using a powerful pokemon that may not listen to her commands. Doesn't this sound familiar? Well, it should, for this happened before.

I can only hope that there will be more World Tournaments in the future, and that they will be handled better than the one we are currently dealing with here. Right now, my expectations for this Junior Cup are set so low that I am almost begging the writers to focus on the Team Rocket/Abyssal Ruins subplot very soon.

Yes, Best Wishes Season 2 is just that: the second season of a series with lazy character development and inconsistent storylines. Dawn competing here and Trip potentially making it past the first round of this tournament may be the only saving graces to what will probably end up as another forgettable story arc. If only this tournament was handled differently, I might actually care. Right now, I don't.

Don't get me wrong. I love this series, and I will continue to watch it for as long as I can, but right now I am disappointed with the current direction of this anime. Why can't we have tournaments, battles, and character development on DP's tier? At this rate, I will dread to see how the writers will handle the inevitable Unova League story arc.

I will end my post here.

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Updated 13th July 2012 at 07:01 PM by Ampharos King



  1. System Error's Avatar
    Reading about the rage is always entertaining.
  2. Ampharos King's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by System Error
    Reading about the rage is always entertaining.
    Well, it's hard for a true fan of this anime not to get enraged with the handling of this tournament.
  3. Baron Dante's Avatar
    Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with people being bugged about something that's shit. But, y'know, can we AT LEAST wait till we see the thing?

    Sure, everything points at it being bad, but I rather not judge anything before I actually see it. :/
  4. Ampharos King's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Dante
    Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with people being bugged about something that's shit. But, y'know, can we AT LEAST wait till we see the thing?
    I wish I was as optimistic as you about this tournament, but based on what has happened in the past, the character that will get the most focus in the beginning of a competition will advance near to the end. Luke made it to the semis even though he debuted only a few episodes prior to the Club Battle. Stephan and his Sawk won the entire Clubsplosion after they won the Celestial Tower competition immediately prior to the competition.

    The person with the most focus in this tournament seems to be Iris. She obtained a powerful pokemon just one episode prior to the start of the Junior Cup. She will use that pokemon to battle her rival in the first episode of the tournament. Most of the information in the magazine scan highlighting this tournament covers Iris and her Dragonite. There is very little information about the other competitiors, even Ash and Trip.

    The writing in the Pokemon anime is very linear in that it hardly deviates from established story formulas in a short amount of time. Chances are that this tournament will be handled like the previous ones, and that Iris will advance very far here. We know that she makes it to at least the quarterfinals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Dante
    Sure, everything points at it being bad, but I rather not judge anything before I actually see it. :/
    The problem with these magazine scans being posted in publiciation is that they will usually announce spoilers about future episodes, which can be a problem if the anime is approaching a story arc. We know that Iris will defeat Georgia using a pokemon that she hasn't trained. We know that Iris will use that same pokemon to battle Dawn close to the end of this tournament.

    The battles could be some of the best written and animated ones that were ever constructed, but unless there is some deeper context beneath it; that the characters are actually growing over the course of this series, then these fights will just be meaningless.
    Updated 13th July 2012 at 07:46 PM by Ampharos King


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