Cyndaquil underused and poorly developed. He was used in 5 gyms and it had some moments, but that's not saying much honestly when it was hardly much trained, didn't learned new moves or showed some visible progress for majority of its run. Only starter in Johto i feel got decent focus and actual growth was Bayleef.
I still think it was mistake to give all three starters to Ash in Johto being bound to end up neglected given how presence of Kanto pokemon hampered down their chances for proper growth.
Most battles Totodile had was against TR too, so i don't see how exactly he was handled better?
Being used against Team Rocket doesn't really count as much of anything in my book. It's at least something, but not what I'd consider a step-up from Ash. Totodile was able to do that and be involved in battles beyond that. Poliwhirl at least had that Seaking Contest, but again, that's not really a lot and she wasn't involved in much battles beyond facing Team Rocket until the Whirl Cup. I also didn't say specifically what Pokemon I'd consider forgettable, so I didn't say that Psyduck was forgettable. In fact, that was the Pokemon on her team that stood out the most because of its comedy relief
All those extra screen time Totodile got didn't helped or contributed to his development at all. He was only used in one gym battle in johto, battled for a starter pokemon very rarely, got only few noteworthy achievements with majority of time when he got used serving as comic relief dancing around .
Compared to that Misty's Poliwhirl line along with Corsola got more wins and development which says a lot.
Poliwhirl won majority of battles he entered in Johto, had his struggles as pokemon showing signs of weakness and fear such as in episode with Andreas Poliwrath going through personality growth and over time improved as battler until it reached its final form near Johto end.
Same applies to Corsola. It won majority of battles in Whirl Cup,defeated Sakura Espeon, Dorian Mantine, Georgio Delcatty etc showing more experience in battles.
Fact that Ash only used him in 2 regular episodes after Johto shows how it was mistake to give it to him.
Not in all battles but in Whirl Cup, when battling Ash for Totodile, Sakura etc she was all upbeat for battles.
I honestly didn't get a huge amount of excitement from Misty battling compared to when she'd talk about Water Pokemon. She was energetic about it, but not nearly as much as when she could go on about how much she loved Water Pokemon or claiming herself as a Water Pokemon master.
Nevertheless she showed as much excitement toward cute little pokemon and romance as she did with talks of becoming water master, so i still don't see how would Totodile fit Ash personality better when Misty was eager and adventurous character a lot too?
I remember how much fangirly she was when wanting to catch Totodile, more than Ash was honestly at that point.
Quality of trainer isn't determined through how many evolved pokemon he/she has, but how skilled and how much his pokemon are trained. Whenever Misty and Ash entered water based competitions she had better results there.
Despite supposedly having a great knowledge of Water Pokemon, I say supposedly due to how I didn't get a vibe like that from her, not many of her Pokemon actually grew. The only fully evolved Pokemon she got were Starmie, Politoad and Gyarados and only one of those three Pokemon actually evolved on screen. For the most part, her team remained the same with few new moves learned and few evolutions. Plus, considering that most of her Pokemon are still traditionally cute, I don't see how Totodile would have had that much of a better chance at growing.
In Seaking contest she knew how to determine through air currents and position of weeds where are Seaking catching heavier one and defeating Andreas who was champion several years in row.
In Whirl Cup she came top 8 as opposite to top 16 Ash achieved being more adapted to water pokemon battles.
Same goes when battling underwater against Dorian with battle ending in tie, as opposite to Ash performance where Totodile easily lost to Lanturn admitting himself how he doesn't have much knowledge about underwater battles . Or Alto Mare race which Misty won.
As for most of Misty team staying same, most of Ash Johto pokemon stayed same too(only Chikorita evolved). But as we can see Phanphy and Cyndaquil later evolved too, meaning how Totodile could have very promising chance for actual growth and evolution too. Considering how at gym he would gain more experience and opportunity to grow than he does at Oaks ranch.
Lets do comparison than:
While Misty did get more focus than Brock, which isn't saying much, there's still no indication that she would have gotten more screentime and Totodile would have been handled better than Mudkip was. She didn't have a huge amount of focus in Johto and Brock, despite getting a starter Pokemon that the writers like to focus on for promotion, was in the background. Even though her goal involves more battling than Brock's did, I still don't think that's a good indication that they could have done more with her if she had Totodile.
Number of episodes Brock pokemon were used in Johto: 45
Number of episodes Misty pokemon were used in Johto: 66
Episodes in which Brock Onix was used: 23
Episodes in which Misty Poliwhirl was used: 51
Number of trainers and competitions Brock battled or entered: Aside from few and far between TR battles number is around 0. Out of events he only entered breeding contest.
Number of trainers and competitions Misty battled or entered: not counting TR around 15. Out of events she entered Seaking contest, Whirl Cup and water race.
She also had more character centric episodes and focus compared to Brock as well.
Math is here quite simple. If Misty pokemon were more used, if she battled more often, if she received more development and spotlight than Brock did than everything indicates how pokemon starter like Totodile would receive more focus and development under her wing than Brock Mudkip did in Hoenn.
Another important thing to take in account is how she would get Totodile around 50 episodes earlier than she received Corsola, meaning extra screen time for which he could have been utilized as opposite to coral pokemon which was captured in late Johto.
In comparison when speaking about starters:
Brock Mudkip was used in 54 episodes during Hoenn and Battle Frontier.
So what does this tell us? How pokemon starter will generally always receive most attention and growth compared to rest of pokemon because of higher marketing value.
For same reason May and Dawn starters got most screen time out of all pokemon in their reams.
If starter under control of character which rarely battles, enters competitions or is involved in action(like Brock) could receive more focus than any other pokemon he has.
Than logically if Misty received Totodile it would get more focus than Poliqhirl or Corsola in Johto received ending with better growth than Brock Mudkip got. Since her quest forces writers to have her and pokemon to be more engaged in action.
Misty focus and development was bigger than Brock's by notable šperfprming different role and having completely different quest, therefore using treatment of his pokemon as indication how would other pokemon be treated is invalid.
Corsola became more resistant and experienced, attacks became stronger and she had more wins and achievements under her belt which can be noticed during late Johto after capture and in chronicles. In comparison Totodile didn't showed any notable increase in strength, lost most battles it was participated in, learned no new attacks etc.
I'm not sure if that's gradual improvement, especially when defeating Gyarados was pretty cheap in my opinion. Totodile didn't have much going on for it under Ash, which was disappointing to say the least, but I still don't think it would have guaranteed improvement if Misty was training it.
I think its safe to say how Corsola despite being caught later and getting less focus still got better growth.
I don't know. Staryu, Starmie, Psyduck and Politoad is hardly something you can consider as "cute little plushies".
Yes, they would be training at the Gym, but based on what we've actually seen of her team, they're still full of traditionally cute Pokemon, aside from Gyarados. Plus, it still isn't satisfying to have them evolve off-screen which is what I was trying to point out with referring to May's evolutions when she returned, and there's still the issue of whether Misty will appear again and if she would use Totodile, or whatever it evolved into, if she ever did when it wouldn't be marketable now. Prof Oak's place is for relaxation, but I imagine that there is some training there based on the new moves they've learned.
I don't see how exactly relaxing at Oaks lab is better than training and battling challengers at gym. Logically Totodile would have had much better chance to grow and evolve in long run under Misty care than its case now at ranch, so i still stick with what i said.
Everything indicates how Totodile would get better treatment if Misty got it, giving her bigger marketing value making increase of focus justified from which both she and Ash would have benefit. Since Misty would get more spotlight and Ash team would be unburdened allowing other pokemon to have more screen time to shine.
May Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Eevee were cute pokemon yet they still evolved in Venusaur, Wartortle and Glaceon when she returned for Wallace Cup.
I'm aware that there are some Pokemon that can't evolve. However, that doesn't change the fact that they're all still traditionally cute, which is why I don't think that they would have Totodile evolve even if she did have it. Poliwhirl and Togepi evolved, but they were still traditionally cute. Gyarados is the only exception and that was given to her during Chronicles. That still makes me think that the chances of Totodile evolving if it was under her control slim at best.
You argument is invalid.
Also whether you consider something cute or not doesn't change fact how majority of her pokemon which could had evolved like Togepi and Poliwag or were already evolved like Starmie. Meaning how there is no reason why Totodile couldn't as well.
One less starter means more focus for Chikorita and Cyndaquil considering how focus intended for Totodile would be distributed among other two and rest of pokemon than. And since starters generally get most, majority of that spare focus would go to them just like it was case with his Treecko, Turtwig and Chimchar in AG and DP.It's certainly isn't satisfying to see that they evolved off-screen compared to actually seeing the battles themselves, so I do think that matters. I'd feel the same way about if Ash's Pokemon evolved off-screen at Prof. Oak's place. Considering how Johto was handled, I don't know if removing Totodile from Ash's team would have given the other starters better treatment necessarily.
Whether Turtwig got enough focus or not is debatable, but whats for sure is that he still received better treatment than Ash Johto starters(except maybe Bayleef). So argument of Ash starters being generally treated better when he doesn't get all three still stands.
I don't know if Turtwig is the best example here since, while it did have good screentime at first, it had less as it evolved. That was disappointing, even though I was fine with Infernape taking up more focus given the importance with Ash's rivalry with Paul.
Out of all pokemon Brock had in Kanto, Johto and Hoenn Mudkip received most screen time. I believe his starter status has a lot to do with it.
Mudkip was pretty forgettable, especially compared to his Ludicolo, so I don't think that it got decent spotlight. I don't think it would have evolved if Ash had it either, but I doubt it would have been as forgettable.
Explained above in analysis i made.Personally, I still think that believing she would have gotten more focus in Johto with Totodile is assuming too much. She had more focus than Brock, but that's still not saying much and battling wise, she didn't have a lot going for her until the Whirl Cup. It's also not hard to get more focus than Brock's other Pokemon considering how forgettable they were.
I will agree how characters with active sidequests like gyms and contests have their stories fleshed out better which usually leads to more growth. But when it comes to quality im of opinion how their growth in some aspects wasn't necessarily better than growth sidekicks went through.
I never said anything about quantity or that they need a lot of episodes to have good development. A character in any show doesn't need a lot of episodes centered around them to bring about quality development. I just don't think most of the Pokemon that haven't been with trainers with active goals have received decent screentime/development and the trainers with the best quality development are ones with active sidequests like Contests and Gyms. I'm also not complaining about the amount of focus the supporting cast receives. Please don't put words in my mouth. All I was trying to say was that dividing the starters worked for Treekco and Torchic because their trainers were more battle active, while Brock, who didn't have an active sidequest that forced the writers to used him to battle more often, didn't use Mudkip that often. Since Misty didn't have a quest that required her to battle more often, in the same vein of Gyms and Contests at least, I don't think that Totodile would have been significantly better off with her than it was with Ash. It would probably be about the same to be perfectly honest.
And i cannot agree with belief how if Totodile went to Misty it wouldn't get better treatment than Brock Mudkip did with nothing supporting such statement. If her pokemon when she was in cast got better treatment and participated in more battles than Brock did, everything points out how starter under Misty would get better treatment than it was case with Brock.
Since she battles more often, enters tournaments, trains etc with her quest being more battle ready than breeder career providing more opportunities for which her pokemon could be used.
To be honest i didn't started this discussion but i agree how further talk doesn't lead anywhere either.Let's just agree to disagree and end the discussion here. I have a feeling that this is going to turn into a Misty off-topic discussion if it goes on any further and I don't want that to happen. Plus, I just hate talking about Misty this much, so I don't want to drag this off-topic discussion on any further.
So from my side im willing to put end to this as well.