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The seems to be no continuity from "Memories Are Made of Bliss", and "In the Shadow of Zekrom" just starts from scratch and retcons everything.


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It is impossible to tell how much time has passed in the Pokemon world between these two episodes, but I will reply with it is unlikely that Ash has done anything important in that time.

There is not normally much continuity between Ash going to different regions. He takes Pikachu, and sometimes one or more of his other Pokemon, and goes off to explore the new region. There doesn't need to be much continuity there for that basic premise to work.

It probably seems more so than normal in between the end of Sinnoh and the start of Unova, because the writers made a definite effort to cater to first-time viewers. The voice over of BW001 states Ash's age, that he wants to become a Pokemon master, etc. It is like a new beginning for the Pokemon anime. It is also probably why people who watched the earlier versions of the anime hate the Unova version - because Ash makes a lot of rookie mistakes, and really should know better by now. But his intelligence and knowledge seems to have gone back to how he was during the very first episodes of the anime.

This making a new start is also shown by having no old Pokemon in Unova (until you get to Eastern Unova, anyway) and (in the games) having the route numbers starting from Route 1 again.

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Unfortunely, he also doesn't have the same hotheaded passion that would've prevented him from taking crap from Iris (similar to Misty). The only difference is that Misty had an actual reason for persistently following Ash, Iris has nothing. All and all, Ash is way too passive this time around. The fact that he's a cooled-down version of his original self does no favors for him. His intelligence doesn't improve, and Iris doesn't even attempt. Meanwhile, the campiest traveling companion wants the two to get along and for the three of them to travel together. He should've challenged the Aspertia Gym instead and avoided Route 1 altogether.

Everyone else is a burden, while Ash is a victim of Japan's horrible writing.
But to get perfect answers to your "reasonable" anime questions you have to ask Game Freak for those.
GameFreak doesn't write the anime.
Then ask the ones who did it