Why Dawn was the Best Thing to Happen to Pokemon

That’s right, it’s finally here! The ultimate Dawn post! Though there’s a few things to say before starting.

First off, while this post is primarily about Dawn, I’m starting with other reasons that the Diamond & Pearl season was awesome and why it doesn’t deserve to be the most neglected season of the bunch.
Second, I didn’t start watching the subbed version until Best Wishes, so all the names I’ll use for people and Pokémon before then are from the English dub, while I’ll be using the original Japanese names for Best Wishes stuff (if I even mention any).
Third, I haven’t watched Advanced Generation in quite a while, and as such most of my points in regards to it will be assumptions. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me. In fact, if you want to refute any of the points I make, go for it. The only requirement is that you back up your claims with an episode number or two. It’s easy enough for me to check pretty much any episode, but I’d rather not search for a needle in a haystack.
Lastly, while I have almost the entire season of Diamond & Pearl on DVD, I didn’t install a DVD drive for my computer, and I’m too lazy to set up my laptop. That means pictures I use will be from the few video files I have for the season, but it’s not that big of a deal considering I’m mainly going to be using drawings and such as inserts.

You know, on reflection, I’m not sure why it was necessary to mention that last one. Oh well, I already typed it and I’m too lazy to remove it.


Diamond & Pearl, also known as the season where all of the English openings started to suck (except for maybe Battle Cry – (Stand Up!)), is probably the most ignored season of them all. The biggest reason is probably because viewership started to slip once Advanced Generation started. People are adverse to change, so swapping out Misty for May and not revealing at first that Brock was coming back caused a lot of people to not care about the show anymore. For those that were willing to stay, they probably drew the line when, almost halfway through Advanced Generation, nearly the entire dub cast got replaced.

This is a shame, because I honestly think Diamond & Pearl is one of the best seasons that was made. Excluding the obvious fact that the writing in general gets better each season (and if you’re one of those nostalgia “only the first season was good” people, go watch the ninth episode of the original, and I challenge you to figure out a thesis or moral or whatever for the episode that shows it isn’t just a bunch of plot points thrown together randomly), Diamond & Pearl had a much larger focus on plot compared to the other seasons.
Team Galactic was running around doing evil deeds in preparation for their big plan later in the season; Pokémon Hunter J is flying around and capturing Pokémon for clients; and biggest of all, Paul and Ash had their huge rivalry.

Ash and Paul’s rivalry was probably the pinnacle of what Pokémon as a show can accomplish in regards to story and giving a moral. Paul was a giant asshole, but it never said his methods were wrong, just possibly reprehensible. It was made even more complicated when it became obvious that while Paul and Ash were opposites in a lot of ways, there was also quite a bit they shared in common, or there was a common thread between them.

The very first time they fight, it ends in a draw. That’s important because they’re both just starting out again, so it shows that as far as raw skill goes, they’re pretty equal. After that, you see how aggressive Paul is in regards to training his Pokémon, and you expect Ash to show him how his method is wrong.

Nope.

Except for the air ring battle thing which doesn’t count since it’s not even a battle, Paul wins all of their fights. And by win I mean he thrashes the living hell out of Ash and then walks away pompously, usually after insulting him. It showed that while Paul’s methods were screwed up, he did get results, and damn good ones at that.

What perfected the rivalry was shown through Chimchar: Ash’s methods aren’t as aggressive, but they are more effective, it just takes longer. Ash finally beats Paul at the Sinnoh League, showing that the path of the nice guy isn’t actually the easy way out at all, but if you stick to it, the power of friendship and caring comes through and yadda yadda yadda. Yes, it’s the standard “friendship is power” moral, but goddamn was it done well. The payoff when Infernape is kicking ass in the fight against Paul? Amazing.

But what I love most about Diamond & Pearl, as the title gives away, isn’t any of the antagonists, but Dawn.

art1

credit: saitou mikado kuni (warning: his other art is a lot more NSFW)

Dawn is amazing, and easily the best traveling companion to date. Now I know about half the people that read this just now started yelling at their screen that I’m an idiot because clearly Misty was the best choice. I’m sorry, but no. This is another case of nostalgia clouding your judgement. She was part of the original gang, so of course there’s bias. She’s also in nearly twice the amount of episodes compared to the others (with the exception of Brock, obviously).
Her mood swings into anger got annoying, and she took a backseat role in the show after a while. It makes sense, the show is mainly about Ash, but this was more than that. She did hardly anything in the show except for when the staff occasionally decided to dedicate episodes to her. At least Brock was used as a plot device to feed everyone and take care of the Pokémon.

May was better, though I’m not really one for airheads. She did kind of get over it, though it took over half the damn season. Anyways, she primarily worked better than Misty because she had a student-teacher relationship with Ash. He taught her what he could, and she learned… usually. However, the problem that arises with this kind of relationship is that it makes May seem like less of her own person. She’s not so much ‘May’ as she is ‘Ash’s pupil’.
The writers also kind of shot themselves in the foot by bringing in Max. May hardly got any moments truly dedicated to her, because Max commented or reacted to nearly everything she did. Again, it took away from her identity as an individual.

art2

credit: sekka koyori

Dawn had none of these problems, and just like how the rival story with Paul is the best plot structure Pokémon will probably ever manage to do, Dawn is the best companion that the show could ever do. Her personality is really similar to Ash’s, and she even has some of the same experiences. She starts off being overconfident in her own abilities, which caused a nostalgic scene where Dawn failed to do her first capture, and immediately blamed Ash for distracting her rather than taking any blame herself. (Ash trying to catch Weedle and being distracted by the bug catcher, anyone?).

One of the biggest complaints against Dawn is that she’s a ‘whiner’, which is absolutely true at first; it’s done on purpose. Unlike May, who took over half a season to get over being airheaded (somewhat), Dawn gets over her misplaced confidence in less than a fourth of the way through Diamond & Pearl. Dawn has two extremely memorable, dramatic scenes in the show, and it’s the first one that makes her drop the confidence.

art3

credit: suzumiyu

In her first contest, Dawn made it to the final round, and she won her second contest. But then in her next two contests, she lost in the very first round. This was a huge blow to her, and she entered her depression arc, though she hid this depression from the others, and even tried to deny it herself. This was a huge deal: it’d make anyone think they’d never cut it as a Top Coordinator, and Dawn unconsciously felt like her dream was over. There was even the dramatic scene where she started breaking down crying the episode after when she saw Ash training.

After she talked and battled with Maylene, she got her confidence back. Not her overconfidence, but her will and belief that she could achieve her dream. Though she never lost an appeal round after this, whenever she did lose, she was able to take it in stride and it just strengthened her will to do even better next time, again reminiscent of Ash.

Oh, and for the sake of not leaving loose ends, the other dramatic event I mentioned is the Lilypad Contest when Mamoswine endlessly charges Carnivine while Dawn helplessly tries to calm it down, getting increasingly desperate.

But you know, if there’s any one reason that Dawn is the best companion, it’s because of one simple thing:

snap1

There’s an actual sense of camaraderie between Dawn and Ash.

The one complaint that I used for both Misty and May was that they both at some point faded into the background, leaving Ash to be the true main character. This doesn’t happen with Dawn. If anything, she starts off being extra baggage for Ash since she doesn’t know how to do much of anything, but she and Ash quickly become good friends.

For example, Ash didn’t always watch May’s contests, usually because he was training. It made it seem like May was just doing whatever, while what we should really have been prepared for was whatever Ash was training to do. Again, this doesn’t happen with Dawn. Ash watches all of her contests, and even participated in the very first one with her, which was also his first official contest.

art4

credit: strawberry15

Further preventing Dawn from falling to the sidelines is the fact that she and Ash learn from each other. Ash lifts a ton of her contest moves and ideas to use in his gym battles, which tend to pay off handsomely. The very first one was the spin dodge while jumping, but he later made us of Ice Aqua Jet, Counter Shield, and various other techniques. Things Dawn learned from Ash aren’t as glaring, but it’s obvious enough she became a better battler from watching him, and there are a few contest moves she created that were inspired from something she saw in his battles.

I also mentioned before that Dawn has a similar personality to Ash due to having similar experiences. Explaining each one is too much rambling even for me, so I’m just going to list them.

  • Similar to Ash’s Pikachu, Dawn’s Piplup decided that it didn’t want to evolve. Though considering the events that transpired in the episode, Ash’s Bulbasaur may be a better comparison
  • Pikachu didn’t like Ash at first but bonded with him by saving him from a bunch of wild Pokémon (Spearow), Dawn’s Piplup did the same thing (Ariados)
  • Starting about a fourth into the season, Piplup started staying outside of its Pokéball, just like Pikachu does
  • Dawn’s struggle to get Mamoswine to obey her was remarkably similar to when Ash was trying to get Charizard to obey him, though it took Dawn a lot less time

There’s other, smaller comparisons you could make too, but these are the most blatant.

art5

credit: seto (ao168)

Now at this point, I can already imagine someone saying, “But wait Riyoga! You say the biggest reason Dawn is a great character is because of her and another character’s relationship? How does that even work?” This is actually a really easy one to address. Contrary to popular belief, the relationship between two characters isn’t really one thing, it’s two. Just like in real life, it takes an effort based on both characters to make a relationship work. It’s the same concept that made me like Inu x Boku so much: on their own, the characters are pretty flawed and honestly not that interesting, but they bounce off each other so damn well that they all become a lot more interesting.
Think of it less as one relationship between two people, and more like two perspectives each for two characters. Or something like that.

I suppose a follow-up question about that would be why Ash and Dawn’s relationship is really that different for me compared to say, Ash and May’s teacher-student one. I already addressed how it makes May seem like less of an individual, and how Dawn and Ash learn from each other and such, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

For both Misty and May, maybe not so much during the journey, but when leaving or meeting back up randomly, it shows their relationships with Ash as being really formal. It’s a lot of “oh good to see you again” and possibly shaking hands and such. His relationship with Dawn is a lot more informal, and honestly, I love that. When she shows up again in the second season of Best Wishes, does she run up to Ash and talk about how great it is to see him? No, she sneaks up behind him and plays a prank.snap2snap3

It’s stuff like this that makes me love Dawn. One of my favourite scenes in Diamond & Pearl is in the last episode, where she conspires with Piplup and Pikachu to wake Ash up since he slept in. I’d link a video of it if it was on Youtube, but alas. To make up for it, here’s a fun fact while I was just searching it. I came across quite possibly the most horribly mangled Pokémon fanfiction ever. Plot twists happened every other line, there was no punctuation, and there was no plot except for random shit happening.
It was the best thing I ever read in my life.

But anyways, Dawn made Diamond & Pearl amazing. She had a closer (and honestly, better) relationship with Ash compared to the other girls, and it payed off handsomely. You can’t even argue that they weren’t an awesome team.

art6

credit: hirako

No seriously, you really can’t. They were intentionally written to be an awesome team.

All the Diamond & Pearl movie teaser posters with Ash and Dawn with Brock missing or way in the background?
The second (non-remixed) opening, High Touch!, which was basically an opening dedicated to talking about Ash and Dawn’s relationship and thoughts about each other?
All those similarities I mentioned earlier?

All of these were done intentionally, and for a reason. Hell, even Dawn’s character song, which is supposed to basically be your theme song, is about how she and Ash are bros except for the fact that she’s female. You don’t get much closer than that.

art7

credit: rairaku345

Now, I guess it’s pretty much necessary I talk about Pearlshipping, isn’t it? Well, I have lot of issues with shipping in general, but that’s not really something I want to dedicate time to. Am I a Pearlshipper? I suppose, but not by the standard definition at all.

You see, most shippers are supremely dedicated to their ships and want to see them happen. That’s not how I am with Pearlshipping at all. I don’t want this show to suddenly turn into a romance, that’d be fucking terrible. The only thing that even vaguely qualifies me to be a part of the group is that if the show does decide to do something like that, or if the show is ending and wants to hook Ash up with someone, it better damn well be Dawn. They already have the best bromance as it is. Otherwise, I just want them to travel together all the time. That’s it.

Though I guess I may be partially biased considering my jacked up view of relationships. I’d rather have a relationship with a girl like the one Ash and Dawn have rather than an actual, “standard” one. Screw all that lovey-dovey stuff, I’d pick a bromance with a chick any day.

Anyways, if I’ve started rambling about myself, then that’s a telltale sign that this post is about over. I think I had a postscript thing planned, but I may have already incorporated it into the post. So… uh… yeah.

Thanks for reading.

To celebrate making it to the end, here are the many appearances of Dawn, which was made by some awesome person that isn’t me.

art8

credit: soara


27 Comments on “Why Dawn was the Best Thing to Happen to Pokemon”

  1. Precita says:

    Interesting post. I agree with you that Dawn was handled extremely well, but not in all areas. Here are some critiques of Dawn that I see often stated on many Pokemon forums:

    1. Her personality didn’t really change in over 191+ episodes. Dawn’s personality in DP191, or even Best Wishes….is exactly the same as it was in DP1. While Dawn went through growth in her contests and battle style…personality wise she never really changed.

    Misty, May and Ash all had notable growth in their personalities as their characters progressed. Misty lost her temper, May gained confidence and became less naive, and Ash matured considerably. But you can watch an episode of Dawn out of order…and she’s exactly the same no matter what portion of the series you’re watching.

    2. Dawn’s rivalries are considered to be handled extremely poorly. The Dawn/Zoey rivalrly was not only in the shadow of Ash/Paul’s during DP, but it also wasn’t anywhere as well liked as the May/Drew rivalry back in AG. Not only did Zoey never get proven wrong about anything and never had any humor moments, but her character became a borderline Mary Sue by the time DP ended. We never got to see Dawn beat her and she was shown to be too perfect. There was also nothing about the Dawn/Zoey rivalry that came across as exciting…as if you NEEDED to see Dawn and Zoey meet again. Unlike Ash/Gary, Ash/Paul, or May/Drew/Harley…there was no excitement.

    Kenny was kinda a terrible character in general, he felt like a filler character designed to just promote Prinplup. Nando also disappeared for almost 80% of DP’s episodes. Ursula was a great character but seeing Dawn beat her literally 3 times in a row and never lose to her diminishes her.

    3. Piplup. Most fans started to hate Piplup once it became Pikachu 2.0 and was forced into every episode. If you notice in early DP, Piplup actually went into its pokeball in most episodes. It was somewhere around the 30th episode or so it started appearing out for no reason. Piplup hogging almost all of Dawn’s battles so her other pokemon barely did anything didn’t help.

    4. The DP trio, as a group, had almost no chemistry or dynamic. While Ash/Dawn had a very good friendship, Dawn and Brock felt like strangers together. The other 3 groups (original trio, Hoenn group, BW trio), all feel like a group of friends on an adventure that balance each other out in terms of character. The DP trio just felt like two of the same character…and Brock as a third wheel who never did anything. The only time Brock really spoke to Dawn was to explain Ash’s battles to her. I wouldn’t be surprised if the DP trio winds up being the animes most forgotten group dynamic by the time the show ends, if it ever does.

    Also I’m not really sure why you consider May so much an air-head. She had zero knowledge of Pokemon at the beginning and was naive, but she wasn’t any dumber than Ash was. There are a number of episodes in AG where May makes fun of Ash for not knowing something outside of Pokemon related stuff. Lastly…even though people don’t like Max…I felt he added more to May’s development than he took away.

    Regarding some of your other points, AG had higher ratings than both DP and BW in Japan and the U.S. The people who stopped watching when Misty left didn’t watch DP or BW either, they refuse to watch anything past Johto. But they were replaced with new generations of kids who came in after them.

    The reason the voices changed was because 4kids contract only went on to Season 8, and rather than be allowed to renew, PUSA took the rights away from them.

    Anyway I agree with you on the rest of your point, the DP saga was indeed one of the best arcs of the show and is better than BW in a number of ways. And I do like Dawn, despite my criticism above. Just remember you can love a character but still acknowledge their flaws or things the writers messed up with, its what keeps people from becoming fanboys. :)

    • Riyoga says:

      I’ve looked everywhere for specific complaints against Dawn and the season, but could never find anyone listing anything specific, so thank you for finally bringing some for me to think over and address. What fun would opinions be if you didn’t have to defend them?

      1. This is kind of a dodgy argument, because I could say the same for Misty. Misty was prone to angry outbursts since the first episode. As for May becoming more confident and less naive, you could say the same for Dawn. Of course she started off confident, but it was misplaced and you could tell. Just like May, she gained confidence, but in the sense that it was actual confidence rather than cockiness.

      2. While I’d agree that the Dawn/Zoey rivalry wasn’t as good as others, I’d go further and say that I don’t really consider them to be rivals. They’re more like friends that have the same goal. While that can constitute as a rivalry, Zoey helps Dawn a lot more than they fought against each other.
      Also, Zoey wasn’t shown as perfect in the Snowpoint City arc, where we’re told that she hasn’t been able to win quite a few contests after getting her fourth ribbon. But the only times we see her in contests, she does tend to win, so you do have a point in her being shown as perfect. But then I could comment how that’s because she’s supposed to be someone Dawn aspires to be like, just like her mum.

      Agreed on Kenny, Nando, and Ursula being pretty weakly-written characters. They just appeared so little and there were the well-written characters to pay attention to, so it just never really bothered me at all.

      3. But… but… Piplup was intentionally written to be Pikachu 2.0… I mean, I suppose you can dislike it if you want, but it was something that was done intentionally. Though Piplup hogging the battles isn’t true at all. She used him for helping blast Team Rocket off and stuff, just like Ash with Pikachu, but otherwise she used the others just as much as before.

      4. This is definitely one that has to deal a lot with perception, because personally, I felt like Brock was just a plot device since the beginning of Advanced Generation. He was just there for comedic relief, making food, or playing doctor. Now I don’t remember that season enough to say anything for it, but I’m pretty sure in Diamond & Pearl he didn’t even get a single episode dedicated to himself, except for maybe that one with the crazy chick who only cares about battles being cute. So I’d say it’s less of a trio chemistry problem and more of the writers just not doing anything in general with Brock.

      Yeah, maybe airhead wasn’t quite the correct term to use. I see May as more of… shit, I can’t think of the word. For some reason the closest that comes to mind is “attention-whore”, but that’s still not quite right. Perhaps a combination of the two? Anyways, maybe I just have amazing luck in picking episodes, but I randomly watched A Double Dilemma, and instead of trying to get the crowd to stop going ballistic over her, she wanted to do an encore after they cheered for her contest move performance. She also enjoyed the praise she got from fighting a very tired Ash way too much.

      The ratings don’t surprise me. It’s why I felt the need to do the little intro about how Diamond & Pearl is neglected. And I knew about the whole contract thing causing the VA changes, but this post is already long as hell, so I cut it out in editing.

      Also while I may find reasoning for some of the legitimate faults, it of course doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s a fault and could have been handled better. It’s just that… well, this is Pokemon, so I’m not expecting Oscar levels of writing. That’s why I can just wave my hand at some of these things as if it’s no big deal that it’s there.

      Thanks for actually taking the time to read and leave an awesomely long comment, though! I love seeing other perspectives and such.

  2. Yumeka says:

    Very good post. You reminded me of some of the things I do like about Diamond & Pearl, including the Team Galactic and Hunter J arcs, as well as the whole plot with Chimchar. As I told you in your post about Best Wishes, DP isn’t a particularly favorite season of Pokemon to me, and I was always just neutral to Hikari (sorry, I’ve been watching the Japanese version since 2006), and Hikari and Satoshi as a duo. But the points you brought up are valid indeed.

    I think there are a couple of reasons why DP is one of the least popular seasons of Pokemon. Obviously a lot of the “original” Pokemon fans from the days of the first generation stopped watching and playing Pokemon by the time Advanced Generation started, so they developed that “sour grapes” attitude they have towards the post-2nd generation games – that they couldn’t possibly be as good as the originals. That attitude of course went to the anime too, especially when they took Misty away. There was so much Pokeshipping going on back in the day, and so many fans cried fowl when Misty was replaced with May. So by the time Hikari came around, people were like “They’re changing the main girl again? What a gimmick.” Add to the fact that, if you remember the early promo art for the DP anime, it simply showed Hikari by herself, so fans speculated that maybe she was going to be the main character and Satoshi would either not show up or would play a minor role. The first few episodes focused on her a lot but…soon enough she became part of the group like the other girls rather than the star, and I believe that disappointed people. Another thing is that, in order to see all these subtleties in DP between Satoshi and Hikari’s relationship, one has to pretty much watch all the DP episodes in chronological order, and few but dedicated fans watch all them.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post and you did an excellent job writing it =)

    • Riyoga says:

      Sad to hear you didn’t care much for Dawn/Hikari, but hopefully this post now has you seeing her in a better light (oh snap multi-language pun).

      I actually didn’t know about the early promo art having only Dawn, so that’s interesting. As for seeing the subtleties in their character, yeah, you do really need to watch all of the episodes and in order, but honestly you could say that for almost any show. Of course it’s not as easy with Pokemon because of how many episodes there are.

  3. Muntasir says:

    Without a doubt Dawn is the best and if Dawn doesnt return along with brock for another seoson as main characters then a lot of fans will die.

    POKE PLEASE BRING BACK DAWN

    • Riyoga says:

      But Dawn is back. Well, the English dub hasn’t caught up yet, if that’s what you’re watching, but the newest season has her. She’ll probably leave after the tournament for good, though, just like when the other companions made return appearances. I’m just happy that so far Dawn’s return has been the longest compared to the others. Totally counts as a victory.

      Doubt they’re ever going to bring Brock back, though. Maybe a brief cameo, but they’re probably done with him. He had a good run with 650+ episodes anyways.

      • Muntasir says:

        yes i know….and believe me bro i am damn happy….:D having dawn back is THE best thing to happen to pokemon but i want A FULL season where Ash dawn brock are the only main characters like exactly sinnoh…no one can argue that this trio was the best…lets hope she is brought back for another FULL SEASON ALONG WITH BROCK.!

        • Muntasir says:

          And “No Nedd To Worry” brother! when Brock stayed With prof. Ivy i thought Brock was done for good…but he is like vegeta of DBZ…the show cant go on without him for too long he is the most imp character after ash

        • Riyoga says:

          Well, the odds of that happening are pretty slim, but one can always hope, right?

  4. Muntasir says:

    yh! like Flint said…” Something happens only when you believe it will…”!

  5. Dragonymos says:

    First off I came and read this blog because Marina mentioned you in hers.

    That out of the way lemme say this was quite the read. I honestly have very little idea about the characters as I’ve only played a few Pokemon games. (Silver, Emerald, and Diamond IIRC) Your passion certainly carried my interest to the end though. (As well as curiousity what random turn you’d take next lol)

    I liked you talking about how it’s the relationship between her and Ash that makes her best in your opinion. Makes a ton of sense to me.

    • Riyoga says:

      Yes, I’ve seen you regularly comment over at Marina’s blog. Nice to have ya over for a visit!

      Obviously I was talking about the show rather than the games, but if you’ve played Diamond at least you’re familiar with the character/sprite Dawn is based off of. I actually can’t recall her personality in the game, but I remember her being the only childhood friend that serves as more of a friend than a rival. Well, I guess Bianca counts too, but Black and White came after Diamond and Pearl.

      But still, I wrote the post hoping that even people who had never seen the season would become interested or even agree regardless, so cool to know I accomplished that with at least one person.

  6. precita says:

    Wow, I thought the DP trio had the worst team chemistry of all the series. Throughout all of DP all I could think of how this “trio” barely functioned well as a group, nor was it even memorable. I do like Dawn herself, but the DP trio overall was very boring. Brock had no purpose in DP and it showed.

    Also, I think you guys are going a little too overboard with, “Misty drove the old fandom away,” which doesn’t make much sense. The whole reason Misty stayed gone in the first place and the writers never revived her is because most people didn’t particularly care that Misty left. Her character was actually fairly disliked throughout most of Johto for losing her personality and becoming a boring character.

    In fact most of the people who stopped watching the show sometime in Johto due to the fillers didn’t even know Misty left until 5-6 years later. That’s why when we were in late Hoenn people acted like they never knew Misty left, simply because they didn’t watch all of Johto to get to the point she left.

    The writers never brought Misty back for this reason, May’s popularity and the initial success of the Contests in the anime killed any chance of Misty to return. I never understood where people exaggerate Misty’s popularity from, I imagine its from the same people who only like the original 151 Pokemon and think all the new designs suck or something…doesn’t make sense. I remember May being vastly prefered over Misty over the entire span AG was airing.

    Also keep in mind DP’s ratings were lower for a few reasons:

    a) In the dub, the voice actor change drove people away. Remember all of Hoenn was still dubbed by 4kids, so it was an easier transition to people.

    b) Once again Hoenn aired on KidsWb, while DP moved to Cartoon Network…a cable channel.

    c) DP was the 10th season of the show, by that point the original fad was long dead and most older fans were going into College. All the kids from the Kanto/Johto days were in High School when Hoenn was airing, but then when DP began people were entering College and had no time for Pokemon anymore.

    Lastly I don’t see the big deal. The Johto saga was definitely the worst arc of the entire series due to all the terrible fillers, zero plot, lack of character development and Ash’s poorly handled Johto team. The fact that the original trio was never reunited since Johto ended pretty much proves the writers likely viewed that entire arc as a mistake.

    • Riyoga says:

      I left out Brock in the post for a reason. As I said in response to your other comment, I’m aware that writers stopped caring about Brock before Diamond & Pearl even started. That and the post was about Ash and Dawn’s relationship; I have nothing to say in regards to Brock.

      I’m not sure which audience you’re speaking for, but everyone I’ve ever talked to would just laugh at the idea of watching Pokemon nowadays. However, the original series is an exception due to the huge nostalgia factor, because it’s what they watched. I’m not sure if Johto counts, but most people lump it together with Kanto since it was the same crew for both.

      I have no idea what goes on with the Eastern audience, which is the one the staff actually care about, but you could probably even notice a drop in ratings starting with the Orange Islands arc since they ditched Brock and brought in Tracey. Nobody liked Tracey.

      I’m assuming they switched up the female companion so they could make the show follow along with the game more, because this is a show that doesn’t grow up with the audience. They always cater to the new kids that just got introduced to Pokemon, which would be the newest version. It also explains why they don’t age Ash at all.
      But some people do still continue to watch, which is why they do cameos. And if Misty was that hated, why would they bring her back for cameos? Twice?

      a) That doesn’t make sense, because all of the voice actors changed halfway through Advanced Generation. They stayed changed, but it happened long before Diamond & Pearl started.

      b) That’s actually something I didn’t know. Interesting.

      c) Actually, college is when Pokemon is hugely popular again. The way it tends to work is that elementary school is when it’s huge, it’s mocked in high school, but then in college it’s the cool thing to play again. Perhaps not watch, fair enough, but Pokemon itself doesn’t die out in college.

      I don’t remember Johto pretty much at all, but I’m still willing to chalk up the actual reasons being what I mentioned before. Though Diamond & Pearl isn’t viewed fondly in regards to filler, either. It hold the first and second place record for longest time between gym matches. I’m not sure if contests are considered to be on par with gym matches in that statistic, though.

      • Scott says:

        I am not saying any character was hated, just that both Misty and Brock got very stale and useless as their runs progressed. There’s a reason the original trio was never reunited in the show, the writers felt neither Misty nor Brock could carry the show. Hence why Misty was axed and Brock just became background material for AG and DP.

        As for cameos, Misty only did appear in 4 AG episodes and then stopped appearing altogether after that. Besides the specials, Misty hasn’t even appeared in an episode since 2005. The writers basically abandoned her character by turning her into a second Tracey.

        With May and Dawn, the writers likely only intended them to last to the end of their generation. Otherwise May might have continued into DP and Dawn might have too.

        Still you are right. The show is aimed at new kids every generation. That’s why old characters stop reappearing, and why after Dawn’s cameo ends this is probably going to be the last we see of her for the rest of the series.

  7. Muntasir says:

    I dont get the fact ! why is everyone saying the sinnoh trio had bad chemistry? Com;on man thats not true! Yes as Riyoga said Brock was a bit left out but ofcourse they had good chemistry! the wasy people talk its almost as if brock and dawn never talked to each other…brock was like a big brother to dawn advising her on how to stay calm how to get better and others saying they had “bad” chemistry is throwing a stone in the dark simply….

    • Riyoga says:

      Pretty much what Precita said below.

      Dawn and Brock didn’t really do anything together. Any interaction they had was pretty much Brock adding on to whatever Ash would say at the time. The only time he had any genuine interaction with her was when he taught Ash and Dawn medical stuff after the episode where her Pachirisu got sick. And that wasn’t even shown, we were just told about it.

  8. precita says:

    Most people found Brock boring in DP, and watching the DP trio interact was quite dull.

    Had they replaced Brock with a new character when DP started it would have been better. Honestly it felt like Brock had the “least” friendship with Dawn compared to past girls. Its probably why he’s been removed from the show now.

    • Riyoga says:

      I still think Brock was a great comedic relief, but they just didn’t use him at all beyond that.

      A new character would have worked, but I still think if the writers had bothered with him at all, it would have worked just as well. Guess they were too focused on Ash and Dawn’s relationship to really bother with him. Though I guess in a way, the lack of a focus on Brock did add more focus on Dawn and Ash.

  9. precita says:

    Honestly what made the previous female interactions work is they had a character to bounce off of in the main group:

    – Misty and Brock had memorable interaction outside of Ash, Misty is arguably the only girl Brock actually felt good friends with.

    -May had Max as her close brother…so you had their arguments and caring scenes…a large chunk of Hoenn episodes has May worried about him in various fillers.

    – Best Wishes has Iris and Cilan as opposites that balance each other out.

    Dawn sadly…didn’t have that “other character” to play off of outside of Ash, hence Brock just being there. I wish they had replaced him with Barry or something.

    Truthfully I liked Brock up until somewhere around the tail-end of Hoenn, by then it became obvious he was becoming a useless character…but it got even worse in DP for him. I guess much like Misty, the writers realized he no longer served any purpose in the show, so he was axed and then dropped entirely.

  10. Eva says:

    Awesome! Before reading this, I love Dawn very very much, but after reading this, I don’t like her the same, but a lot more!This is awesome really! Thanks for such a nice post!

  11. The one thing I like about Dawn is her boots, I look at pictures of her boots and dream that I was wearing them, her Platnium boots are good too and on some fan pictures they look like wellies. So yep I like Dawn’s boots and wish I could wear them.

  12. Dawn's Fan says:

    I like Dawn so much. She is creative and she totally cares about her pokemon. She has done many mistakes through out the seasons. She has learn her mistake and do something about it. Because of that she made it to become the 2nd runner – up. She gave Ash ideas of a new battle combination, such spin, counter – shield. Because of the support of Ash and Dawn for each other, Ash made it to become top 4 in the sinnoh league. The sinnoh league was the best league ever. She shows hardwork MORE THAN MAY. HER HUMILITY AS A COORDINATOR SHE BE APPRECIATED BY ALL OF US. Dawn never had the intention to insult Ash. You may say she insult Ash once but she sincerely said sorry to Ash so that is ok. Dawn is the best companion not because her rivals are not as good as her. It is because she shows a great attitude when it comes to reach her goals. :)

  13. XROS says:

    Dawn is my favorite character of all the seasons of Pokémon!!!
    I love Dawn so much!!!
    I am a Pearlshipper xd

  14. Awesome review dude…. 99% i agree with you

  15. May'sGreatToo!!! says:

    Wow, I now it’s sort of pointless to voice my opinion 2 years after this article was written… but what the hell :P
    I looooooooooooooved what you said about Dawn, and I agree with how awesome she is! She’s my 2nd favourite character behind May. Who I feel the need to talk about/DEFEND!
    First off, Dawn is more of a main character than May was. But I feel May was extremely necessary to get the awesome character of Dawn. I think May was the proto-Dawn, and the writers first time actually trying to write a good female character. Misty was great, I love Misty, but she eventually faded into the background and didn’t do… ANYTHING.
    May was the writers starting a new, and trying to do well. But I guess they just weren’t sure how to write her just yet so they shoved in Max. Max completely overshadowed May early on in Advanced Gen, he got more episodes than her and heck! he even got the first AG Movie!!! But over time May actually got screen time! (the fact that she was in contests probably helped). And actually at the end of AG May and Max’s screen time got flipped. May got more screen time while Max took a back seat (she was the only sibling to show up in DP right?).
    Also May got the Manaphy movie, it’s pretty much the Jirachi movie but better (I like May and I like water, okay?).
    About Ash not sitting in for her contests, well… I feel like that was the writers thinking every episode had to be about Ash in some way (just a theory). I think starting with Harley’s first episode he ALWAYS sat for her contest performances. If Dawn was the one selling us on Hoenn contests then Ash probably would have ditched her shows at first too.
    I would like to point out how even though the Manaphy movie was May’s movie, Ash shoved her in a pod and stole the climax from her. He tried to do that with Dawn but she was all like “hell no!” in the Darkrai movie, just an example of how Dawn’s great start was thanks to the practice the writers got from May.
    So basically don’t be so harsh on May man! She’s awesome!
    But yeah, DP and Dawn for that matter are harshly underrated, it’s suuuuucks because DP is great at story arcs. And Dawn is just a joy to have around. I was actually on a Dawn low so I bought all the DP DVDs so I could watch everything with her and her awesomeness. Yep, spread the love of Dawn!!!

    • Adrien says:

      I’m just as late to the party, but I feel the same way. Dawn was definitely my favorite female companion and I sorely miss the character as it was developed so well. PearlShipper on board, haha. But she was harshly underrated as was the DP series.
      I don’t see a single thing I disagree with in this article. Well written and great content.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s