Ash in the Pokemon League
Ash vs Ritchie seems to get a lot of hate. I like it, but I’m probably the only one. I've always thought Ash loosing was one of the few artistic things the writers did in the first season. We knew he was going to win; he always won. Then he lost.
Alos, I’m ok with the way Ash lost the league. Going by memory a lot of Indigo League episodes go like this:
1) Ash & co. go to a new location, where they get a goal for the episode.
2) They try to accomplish the goal, but Team Rocket interrupts them.
3) Pikachu defeats TR, sending them flying. Ash doesn’t really accomplish the episode’s goal, but everyone appreciates him because he helped defeat TR, so he gets credit anyways.
The episode where he lost just reverses the formula, showing that he needs to do more than defeat TR again & again to be a master trainer.
I know, I know, "Ash didn't have a chance after Team Rocket tired his Pokemon out! To show that Ash was a poor trainer, they should've given him an obstical which was in his control!" Sigh... In life, we are often faced with things which are out of our control. Ash couldn't control Team Rocket; that's true, but there was something else he could control: his Pokemons' training.
Re-watching the show, I realized the writers did a bit of for shadowing in the episodes before Ash went to the league. Every episode mentioned that Ash's should be training, but he wasn't.
Two observations on the actual match:
Charizard was winning; Sparky couldn’t even touch him. If Charizard had just bothered to do something, anything, Ash would’ve won.
Pikachu didn’t obey Ash either; he ran into the fray without being called on. If he hadn’t, Ash could’ve saved him for later. What Pikachu did was brave, but he may also be responsible for Ash’s loss.
Ash raised loving, strong Pokemon, but he wasn’t able to lead them. That’s why he lost the match.
It makes sense for Charizard to be the main cause for Ash's loss. Ash didn't spend much time training Charizard, probably because Charizard was too big & powerful & out-of-control for a ten-year-old to handle. Charizard would help Ash in emergencies, but a Richie's Pikachu wasn't a threat.
If Ash had just let Charizard out of his Pokéball & spent time with him, Charizard might've trusted Ash enough to listen to him in regular battles. But Charizard grew too fast, & became too dangerous, for Ash to spend much time with him. Then again, Ash tried to use Charizard in a few battles before the league, but Brock & Misty told him Charizard was too dangerous.
It's a conundrum; to train Charizard, Ash would've needed Charizard to trust him, but to trust Ash, Charizard needed training.
Worked out as an interesting plot point tho. And Ash showed a bit of maturity & good sportsmanship when he accepted his loss & shook Ritchie’s hand at the end.
The next episode feels like an epilogue to Ash’s adventures in the Indigo league. The next episode references the league, but it doesn’t tie up any loose ends; it just introduces the next adventure.
Team Rocket didn’t need to appear, but without them the episode would’ve been too short to broadcast. I suppose they could’ve made Ritchie’s battle longer, but he wasn’t the main character; what we saw was probably more than what was needed for the story, & seeing Ash & his new friend work together was fun.
I like the closing ceremony, tho the fireworks aren’t as impressive as I remember. The final montage, where we hear both verses of the Pokemon Theme, is good. All in all, it's a fitting conclusion to the Indigo Saga, with a decent call to further adventures.
Anyone else notice the music que when Ritchie let out Zippo was the same one used when Blane’s Magmar appeared? I like that tune; & had to say so, even if this doesn't really fit in with the rest of this essay.