I've said this before and i'll say it again: I might actually like Iris if it weren't for those "Such a Kid" comments.
Seriously, Iris has a lot of good qualities (she's witty, she's athletic, she has a dragon fetish), but that condescending attitude of hers is what keeps me from truly liking her.
Now many here would probably argue that Iris' condescending attitude has died down over the course of Best Wishes, but be that as it may, it hardly excuses all of those episodes where she acted like she was Ash's superior. Seriously, he's been to about 4 regions already and she's never given any indication that she's ever been outside of Unova.
And now that Dawn and Cynthia are both making comebacks, i was hoping that Ash's past accomplishments would finally reach Iris' ears and make her feel a bit silly for calling Ash a little kid. (Honestly, what "Little Kid" goes head to head with a Dragonite, an Articuno and a Darkrai and wins?)
Now some people here would say that Iris could still call Ash a "Little Kid" if he acts childish, but come on, Iris is hardly what i'd call mature either. Seriously, intellectuals hardly go around swinging in the trees like Mankeys
Honestly, the "such a kid" comments usually don't bother me that much. It can be annoying and it's certainly gotten old, but the only times where it bothered me a lot was when it felt really insulting or uncalled for. It probably helps that I find almost all of Iris' other characteristics and the incredibly lack of effort in the writing around her character much more annoying to deal with. I think that they were trying to make it funny because of how it points out Iris being a hypocrite, but it was never funny, in my opinion, and we didn't really need that line to highlight Iris as a hypocrite anyway.
"Such a kid" has never been funny, cute, coy, or endearing, and the only times Iris is justified in saying so is when the writers intentionally regress Ash's character to make him do something way beyond stupid that he's normally grown past by this stage if DP and AG are anything to go by. So basically they wreck Ash's character just so Iris can have an excuse to call him out for it, and that never ever ever actually leads up to anything, so nothing is gained. Waste of time.
What bothers me more is Iris calling Cilan annoying and his Tasting Times "boring lectures". Probably because Iris has even less excuse to be calling Cilan out on anything, and again, it serves no purpose other than to make Iris look like a Debbie Downer jerk. You know, in the past when the group membrs got on each others' nerves, exasperated sighs/looks were more than enough to convey their feelings without making them out to be jerks. And, you know, sometimes the reactions weren't always the same. With Iris, it's a sure bet that her jabs will be exactly the same as the first time she used them, regardless of the varying scenarios. That's what makes her especially grating, and that's what makes her feel rather distant relative to how other group members seemed.
And personally, Cilan's tangents tend to be the more entertaining parts of the episode, so when Iris says it's boring, she's just going out of her way to kill the mood of the scene. I get that not everyone is into Cilan's tangents, but it's not like Ash or Cilan chime in whenever Iris is doing something stupid and calling her names and trying to make her shtick out to be pointless (even though it totally is). So I really don't see why she's compelled to completely kill the flow of what her friends are doing to make the episode interesting.
"Kodomo ne" is the same thing as "that's basic" more or less. It's meant to be intentionally hypocritical, hence why it's funny or charming, or at least considered to be funny or charming by the staff. Iris, being quite hyper, tending go "OMG Kowaii" over everything, refusing to open up her problems(though that is a common plotline used for every), not having much friends or life experience in general, has no place to call others "a kid", as essentially, by insulting others for being kids, she basically insults herself, as again, in every canons her character revolves around her childish nature.
Same goes for Shooty, as he has no place to call others "that's basic", for he is not only newcomer, he has idolized a native american despite acting xenophobic, and continiously watches other people's battles(if I read correctly, he has taken pictures of Cabernet vs. Iris in case he goes against them). He basically disregards his own philosophy "It's not like I will get stronger by watching other people's battles."
In short, both of the catchphrases are meant to be retarded and unfitting for their characters, and characters growing out of it is meant to parallel their overall growth and realization of their hypocrisy is meant to be their embracement of their nature(read, "I am adult! Even though calling myself an adult pretty much confirms that I am not!"--> "No I'm not an adult. My life is ruined."--->"Mama is with me!1!!1").
Of course, catchphrases, running gags and character tics are classic, cheap ways of making characters unique, or at least quirky enough to be memorable. And Pokémon, as we all know, has always cherished and will always cherish that.
What I am more interested is the whole Hikari/Iris parallel they are going for. Quite literally the only thing they haven't done is to make parallels between Doryuz/Mammoo, Langley/Urara, and Hikari going fangirly for Iris' Dragon Master goal.
Well based on the newest information from the anime, what do you think about Iris now?
Personally, I think they are doing enough with Iris. Actually it's more like they're doing way, way, way TOO MUCH with her. :O
They already can't find a medium with Iris' character where she's either background fodder or incredibly obnoxious. Now they can't find a medium in Iris' role, where she's literally gone from sitting on her hands, doing nothing as Axew only learns these stupidly hax moves through the power of plot convenience and not actual hard work... to the main draw of this tournament once she catches a pseudo-legendary dragon that's got a history of being portrayed as hax in the anime and has the potential to wreck the whole tournament and every character in it.
I liked her better as a tree.
This thread should be renamed as "Did you like Iris' role on the show?"
I don't think they could've have picked a worse Pokemon type for a protagonist to specialize in than Dragon, I really don't. An all-conquering team of Dragons owned by a main character probably sounded like an awesome concept on paper, but there's such a small number of Dragons to choose from, (Even with the return of older Pokemon) and most of them require way too much experience to evolve, it wouldn't be realistic (By Pokemon's standards) or fair if Iris' had Dragons that were raising at the same rate as Ash or Cilan's Pokemon. (Assuming they were all getting the same amount of training) Since she's a sidekick character, the only believable way for her to have Dragon Pokemon in their final evolutionary stage is if she used one constantly, if they were getting a hell of a lot "off-screen training", or if a fully-evolved Dragon fell right into her lap, which is exactly what's happening soon.
To think there was a time I wanted Iris to capture another Dragon, they've certainly managed to corrupt my wish in the worst way possible. In retrospect, perhaps I would've been fine if Axew was her only Dragon if he was growing steadily, (Which he was, up until the final Don Battle episode) perhaps evolving at least once by now, but it's far too late now, and TPTB have already stated that he most likely won't evolve until Iris is about to leave the show, which would make her yet another character who won't achieve her goal on-screen. But honestly, her growth as a trainer is the least of my problems with her; she's such an unlikeable little twerp, I never really wanted to see her succeed in the first place. It truly astonishes me just how poorly she's been handled.
Yeah, in retrospect, it wasn't the best idea for a main character's goal to focus on Dragon Pokemon. Even if Iris had stuck with Axew as her only Dragon Pokemon, the fact that she isn't on a badge/ribbon-like collecting journey makes it more of a challenge to give Axew, and by extension Iris, more believable and steady progress in their development. Combined that with how long it typically takes for Dragon Pokemon to evolve in the anime, it's kind of hard to make the concept of Iris' goal really work through this kind of execution. Though, I think that it could have worked if Iris was using Axew constantly, training it often enough and actually using it in battle beyond that one round in the Club Battle tournament and those sparring matches with Scraggy. At the very least, that would have shown Iris working hard at reaching her goal and Axew could be doing something more than being cute and sitting in Iris' hair nearly all the time. I'm not even sure if Axew was steadily developing prior to learning Outrage. The process of getting it to learn Dragon Rage didn't really go beyond Iris calling out the attack every once in awhile, excepting it to work and just going "Oh well" when it didn't until Axew got it under control by itself. Admittedly, that was handled better than Axew randomly getting Outrage or quickly learning Giga Impact, but the development for Axew has always felt pretty poorly handled to me.
Though, I agree that Iris' personality being rather annoying does make her fairly unlikable, especially with the training issues and the poor writing around her character. I still remember back when I kind of liked her. Looking back, she was kind of annoying from the start, but that made me think of all the potential she had. She was a seriously flawed main character and clearly over her head at the start with not being able to get Axew to learn the most basic Dragon move and having an Excadrill that wouldn't listen to her. The potential and being so different from the other female characters is what made me like Iris at first and I still think that she had potential to be a really interesting character, but that's long gone at this point. She's lazy, is rewarded for her lack of training with victories and new moves for Axew to give the illusion that she's improving, she will get a Dragonite on a silver plate with diamonds in it and no one calls her out on her flaws except for Georgia. I honestly wonder why the audience is suppose to root for her when she doesn't work for her goal and she gets victories even without training. Iris only talks about becoming stronger, while not really doing much, and that almost always makes me care little about the character, if not disliking them completely.
I'm actually perfectly fine if Axew never evolves. I think I'd almost prefer that just because I don't think she deserves even a Fraxture at this point. Plus, for some reason, I can see that whole Iris and Axew wanting it to evolve into a Haxorus being completely forgotten or, more likely, Axew is happier with the idea of not evolving and everyone takes that as a sign of how much of a good trainer Iris is because of how happy she's made Axew.
8o I'm lost on the Dragonite development. What was that?
If she gets this far into the tournament, then obedient or disobedient, Dragonite's "conflict" doesn't matter at all.
I wish the writers would use more of a variety of "tournies," if that's the word, like the dress up competition that Brock won, the Tag Battle Tournament that Ash and Shinji won, and then the pokestylist competition for Dawn (Brock didn't go for the Pokestylist one, but otherwise all three of the Sinnoh trio were there for all of these). The events had something to do specifically with what talents the winning trio member had (or Croagunk had). :o I don't see why, if the writers like Iris so much, they don't just design some event specific for her so that these results don't seem so infuriating or glorious-depending on whether you like it or not. It's hard to just neutrally say that what's going on is solid writing and move on, since the point the writers are making is that Iris is special or a genius.
:o after this tournament, though, I wonder what more/if anything the writers can really do with Iris, besides finishing her journey off at the end.
Yeah I think the writers are doing plenty for Iris. I wouldn't be surprised if they made Iris a champion in the show and Ash would have to face her and he would lose. It wouldn't be something that I would want but they might as well since they've gone this far with her. I'm still rooting for Axew's evolution anyway though. "Don't worry Axew, I still remember you exist."
I really don't understand what Iris' character is supposed to be.
As a starting point there is Iris as a dragon master. She grew up in a small village with a tradition of raising dragons and wants to continue in that tradition - something done in the anime by giving her an Axew to raise and evolve into a Haxorus in order for her to develop as a person.
Secondly there is the game character of Iris. In BW she's an accomplished gym leader in one version and a city leader in the other, both showing her having achieved quite a large amount and having a wide range of dragon training skills. The BW2 transition to Champion just is a refinement of her pre-existing expertise in training dragons - most of the champions specialise in Dragon types, so it makes sense that the leader of the Dragon type Gym would be in a powerful position to move up the ranks.
Finally, there is the other side of Iris' childhood and early training. Growing up around and with Pokemon and then catching and raising a Drilbur to great success. The extensive training with Excadrill gives her strong Pokemon training skills, which makes her far from a beginner with regard to Excadrill.
Meshing these together has seemingly been the greatest problem the series has had. I said a while back that I don't understand how Drayden fits with Iris - because her reason for battling him has nothing to do with the Gym. Excadrill has a point to prove with Drayden, Iris needs to demonstrate she's a strong trainer to Drayden. Training or not training Axew has no baring on Iris' reason for wanting to fight Drayden - nor does beating him with Excadrill prove anything regarding her Dragon master goal. The one connection from Iris' Gym character in the games to the anime is totally broken in the anime by it being Excadrill that did it. Indeed, it's far closer to Georgia's goal as a Dragon Buster to be strong enough to beat the most powerful dragon types in the region, which makes it a very ancillary goal for Iris' character, yet has been shown as one of the very few concrete elements to her 'goal'.
I don't think being a trainer and being a dragon master are mutually exclusive, but equally you'd expect the latter to take far more precedence over general training ability. One of the biggest problems is the vagueness of what a dragon master is. The uniqueness of the dragon master goal has to come from the relative difficulty of training Dragon types. For Misty's equally vague 'water Pokemon master' goal - she was both already a Gym leader and exclusively caught water types - with the exception of Togepi - a Pokemon most here would agree at the very least detracted from her goals as a trainer, as she was left to raise a baby (The Poke-glass ceiling?) rather than actually train in her chosen field. For Iris, having just the one Dragon type makes sense - because dragons being more difficult to train makes focusing on just one a logical step. But what doesn't make sense is that Iris constantly enters tournaments with Excadrill and Emolga.
It wouldn't be so bad if there existed specific dragon tournaments - Iris occasionally entering non-Dragon competitions while also entering Dragon specific ones with Axew would be okay. In that sort of context, training with other types of Pokemon could be considered as just preparing herself for the unexpected. Indeed, even without them, if Iris was shown on screen to be relating back her tactics and understanding of Pokemon back to Axew's development it would work. But instead she battles with Excadrill and Emolga in ways that simply cannot transfer back to Axew, who has neither the raw strength of Excadrill or the flexibility and speed of the flying Emolga.
The thing with Iris' childhood connection to wild Pokemon is good. I think that it would have made far more sense for Iris to not have captured Drilbur and simply trained it as a wild Pokemon. Iris being able to make connections to wild Pokemon easily and having frequent roles in episodes calming down/healing wild Pokemon would be a good tie up to her character, she does it already to some extent with her berry collection and wild remedies. By having far more emphasis on this side of her would make her character make far more sense - she doesn't need to be powerful to have strong connections with Pokemon and by learning that with wild Pokemon she can further her work with Axew and dragons generally.
If that was done from the start, her glowy connection with Dragonite wouldn't be an out of the blue event, and it would tie her back to her existing training and growth as a character, rather than being an unnecessary jump in her personal power before a tournament with nothing relating to any of her stated goals in it.
I don't think Iris winning a Don Battle tournament and doing well in others is supposed to be a reference to the game Iris - I think it's clear that she has nothing to do with that character and Iris being the Champion in BW2 is an unfortunate distraction. The problem is though that Iris being given a cynical and guarded personality has led to her character not being developed enough to take her out of the shadow of the totally different backstory given to the in game Iris. And because Excadrill was established as strong, it makes Iris a good Pokemon Trainer, which means however rubbish it is for storylines, there's a logical reason for her to progress well in tournaments - at least when using Excadrill.
In addition Axew's unnecessary powerups of its moves before big battles are just a representation of the wider problem of training in BW - it's only because Axew is supposedly the core of Iris' dragon goal that anyone pays specific attention to it. Leavanny and Crustle both have equally bad pacing of their development, it's a wider problem with BW than it is an Iris problem. Yet again however, it is specifically bad because it hurts the uniqueness that is supposed to have made her Dragon Master goal a challenging one - the one that justifies the specific focus to date on only Axew and Iris training Pokemon outside her goal type.
Iris is too strong to be a beginner trainer, which makes it hard to make Axew as weak as it should be, but none of Iris' training skills that made her have a strong Excadrill are shown, and the difficulty of raising Dragon types hasn't been adequately shown, to the point of it being skipped over with some of Axew's moves. It went from being correctly on par with the just hatched Scraggy to being fairly powerful with next to no work put in - yet there's been nothing to measure Axew's development against for Iris' dragon master goal - we still don't know how Axew does comparatively because she keeps using her other Pokemon when there's something on the line. Her sending her prize for winning a Don battle tournament back to her home town is a great example of her problem - 'Hey look at what I achieved with Excadrill while out on a journey to train Axew!'.
However, she's too weak to be a strong trainer. BW's strict reliance on 1 on 1 battles so far has hidden this. Paul's insistence on 3 on 3 in Sinnoh was for a good reason, because anyone can have one strong Pokemon, anyone can have a fluke victory, anyone can use type advantage - what requires skill and training however is longer battles. Iris faced with a 3 on 3 against anyone she's beaten so far would result in her being trounced. She'd have lost an air battle against Skyla - let alone needing to actually do a proper battle against anyone. Iris isn't strong - she has perceived strength through omission, and the anime does itself no favours by continuing to avoid this being displayed.
Which leaves her in a terrible middle - she's not a Dragon Master because Axew isn't strong, she's not weak because Excadrill can save her and she's not strong because she's never needed to fight in a realistic way. Add to that a total lack of her goals being stated, and progress being made towards them, and you're left with a character who has clear flaws when considered, but never needs to show them because of how the tournaments have been structured.
But the problem for me is that she's a huge pile of potential, there is so much that could have been done with her character, and there's plenty that could still be done to salvage it. But instead we see her constantly glorified, put in situations that are custom designed to allow her to appear far stronger than she actually is. It makes it very hard to accept her character, much less be on her side in anything.