Meta-PokéBase Q&A
30 votes

Got a question about the anime? Got some gripe about how it's not logical? Here are some of the common questions concerning the game, and answer it here. If there's something incorrect with it, feel free to let me know, but please provide proof. Remember that the games and shows aren't there to make perfect sense. This is here to try and cut down on the anime questions that might come up. The anime is far from perfect and has its share of flaws, but try to remember that its first priority is showing off the pokemon for the games.

Almost every question here can be answered with one simple answer.
The two share several similarities, but have different standards of what's a "good" trainer. If you Use unevolved pokemon like Pikachu and Totodile in the games, that's usually a bad idea-but only because the games are just statistics and equations to keep things even. The anime is more about caring for your pokemon in addition to training, since for the trainers, pokemon are like animals are to us in real life. You'd be a terrible person for treating your pokemon the way you would competitively. Giving it a life orb, which strips its health in exchange for power, would be outlandishly cruel. The trainer should strive to be strong, but at the same time, not treat their pokemon like tools.

The common Questions are posted below in the answers.

If you have any suggestions for additions to this, just add a comment.

edited by
stall_fest, they arent donuts. Its bad translation i guess. It has become a meme.
Why did Brock say water is weak to fire even though fires week to water.
For the same reason the anime says Seviper evolves from Arbok... the writers made a mistake. There is nothing to read into. You are going to be very disappointed if you expect the anime to perfectly reflect the mechanics of the game. This is just the tip of the iceberg:
Water is weak to fire

*memories of alain*
Lol, I almost thought, this was a question post about anime, like Death Note or One Piece XD. Phew, good thing I scrolled down to take a look at the answers first XD.

6 Answers

19 votes

Why does ash release his pokemon?

Ash has only released five pokemon: A Butterfree , Pidgeot, Lapras, Goodra, and Greninja. Lapras was a mode of transportation for Ash during the Orange arc. They wouldn't want Greninja to come back or easily be on hand because he's a storybreaker in terms of power and because he's being asked to take on a larger threat. Earlier in the series, they didn't know how they wanted to handle writing pokemon out, because "oak's lab" is pretty much the default now since it gives you the freedom to have them make easier cameos if you want. Goodra was released because Ash felt it better to protect the wetlands and he cared more about the environment than his own wants.

Remember that when he met Lapras, it was a young Lapras separated from its family, and Ash promised to help return it to its family. Until then, Lapras would help Ash any way it could, mainly by helping him across the Orange islands. Considering Lapras' fear of humans after being abused by trainers wanting it only for fighting, it is still close to ash for helping it recover. It was only actually used in roughly three battles. It does come back in the episode "Lapras of Luxury." Since Lapras was mainly a mode of Transportation, so there weren't a lot of situations in which it could be used well, Similar to Misty's Goldeen. He left Butterfree to go on with its own kind because he thought it would be happier that way.

He does not release Primeape. Like Squirtle, he officially put it in training, but because it is less popular and appealing than Squirtle, it has a much smaller chance of making a return. Pidgeot was in an awkward place since Charizard already provided a flying ability, not to mention that Noctowl, Swellow, Staraptor and Tranquill all fill in the exact same role, so there wasn't much of a point in keeping him. The writers knew this and didn't really know how to handle this, so they released him under the situation that it became the leader and guardian of a bunch of Pidgey. Ash thought their safety was more important that Pidgeot being called upon for battles.

Why didn't ash take Larvitar or Haunter?

They don't want to give Ash an overly powerful pokemon like Gengar or Tyranitar. That would not only eliminate a pokemon for him to be challenged by, but also takes out the balance aspect. Larvitar was left with its family. Would it have been right to take a it with him right after it was reunited with its mother (mind you it had been kidnapped by poachers) Haunter was left with Sabrina to keep her cheered up, as her constant training stripped her of her happiness and was what drove her into her psychological problem.

Why doesn't Ash evolve his pokemon?

Let's take this one by region. The core thing to remember about why Ash's pokemon evolve slower than other trainers is that Ash typically catches all the pokemon that will be in his party all at once, meaning all the training is split between six or more pokemon. His rivals usually catch and focus on one pokemon at a time, which is why Ash tends to fall behind midway through his journey, but catches up to defeat his rival by the pokemon league. His entire interaction with Paul in the Sinnoh arc demonstrates this quite well.


All of Ash's pokemon save for Pikachu evolved to their fullest forms.

Only three of his pokemon are in their base form: Snivy, Oshawott, and Scraggy. When the majority of his team has already evolved, some of them twice, it's not fair to say he's not doing anything. Plus with over six pokemon in training, their battles are being stretched across several pokemon, so they will all evolve slower than if he trained them one at a time. He also brought in a Charizard and had Pikachu, (the former cannot evolve, and the latter requires a stone to evolve) who did not evolve, but are still two of his most powerful teammates.

Sinnoh had only two of Ash's Seven pokemon that didn't evolve--Gible and Buizel. Keep in mind the rest of them all started at their base forms, meaning that Ash alone went through seven evolutions here. His Gible didn't evovle, but remember that Dragon types take a very long time to evolve, and Ash caught gible Fairly late in the show, so it didn't have much time to evolve fully. Besides, Ash with a Garchomp in the pokemon league would have been a catch-22 for him. See "Why didn't ash take Larvitar or Haunter?" There's not much to say on Buizel, but again, it's unrealistic to say that Ash doesn't evolve any of his pokemon.

Corphish was Ash's only unevolved pokemon. It didn't see as much use as say Sceptile, and was one of Ash's overlooked pokemon.

Between these two regions, Ash has six unevolved pokemon: Totodile, Bayleef, Quilava, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Pikachu. Even then, Bayleef and Quilava evolved while with Ash. They just haven't evolved into their final forms.

Totodile- there's not much to explain why this one happened. But a happy jumping Totodile is far more appealing to children then an awkward crocodile thing that still has the same moves.

Bayleef/Quilava- Both of these have evolved, but not completely. Bayleef evolved rather quickly, but hasn't seen use lately. Quilava on the other hand didn't evolve until he was brought to Sinnoh briefly. Does that mean Ash just now got him at level 14? No. There aren't levels in the anime. Both of them were still very strong despite not being Meganium and Typhlosion. He didn't even use Bayleef as a wall/supporter like it's "supposed to be" in the games.

Bulbasaur- He had the choice to evolve in the episode "Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden," but Bulbasaur chose not to. This was Bulbasaur's choice, not Ash's. It wanted to prove itself to the Ivysaur and Venusaur present that it wasn't weak, and didn't need to evolve to become strong. It's still taken out several pokemon that would be next to impossible to do in the video games. This proves that pokemon are able prevent their own evolution. The ones that don't want to evolve simply don't.

Squirtle- Remember that Squirtle was part of the Squirtle squad. It wouldn't have worked to have a Wartortle or a Blastoise as part of the gang. He still held his own as one of Ash's strongest water types without evolution.

Pikachu- Ash will not Evolve Pikachu. Simple as that. Pikachu is the mascot of the whole franchise. To do away with Pikachu is to do away with that. Pikachu, like Bulbasaur, chooses not to evolve for itself, not having anything to do with Ash. It lost to a Raichu in "Electric Shock Showdown," and was given a chance to evolve into a Raichu. Ash didn't force it to, and ultimately gave Pikachu the choice. It saw the thunderstone and refused to evolve, and later defeated Raichu. it's still one of Ash's strongest pokemon, and since this is the anime, it doesn't have to evolve to fit that spot.

Around 10 unevolved pokemon is hardly a majority, especially considering that these are all very strong pokemon in their own rights. Most of them made an active choice not to evolve as well, such as Bulbasaur. Remember that unless it is something like Pikachu's case, Ash cannot choose when his pokemon evolve. They do so whenever they're ready. It's marketing. Cooler/cuter pokemon= more money from more people getting drawn into the show. It doesn't seem to work like the games where they evolve after a set amount of experience is gained.

Why doesn't Ash catch a lot of pokemon?

"Gotta catch em all" was not Ash's goal. Ash's Goal was to become a pokemon master. The slogan was mainly put there as a ploy for people in the games. If he caught every pokemon he saw, then we'd have tons of pokemon we'd see for about one battle with no personality. Then people would complain that Pokemon doesn't get enough screen time and how the pokemon are so bland. It's another lose lose situation for Ash. The anime is meant to showcase the most common and popular pokemon in the game, which is why the three starter pokemon are always in the core cast. This is a basic marketing concept done by almost any mon franchise.

Unova's anime also shows a lot of the issue with catching too many because several of them can lose out on valuable screentime and they feel like wasted captures.

edited by
but gible evolves stating at level 24.
He also released his Goodra, so...
What is different Gotta catch em all and Pokemon master?
"They don't want to give Ash an overly powerful pokemon like Gengar"

This sure aged well
Gets Dracovish and Dragonite: This sure aged well
16 votes

The anime said that Arbok evolved into Seviper! Why?

This, like several other mistakes, were usually dubbing/animating errors, not the fault of the writers. Some lines and scenes are edited to fit with different cultures. Some things are also mistranslated. Most of the voice actors and animators aren't familiar with pokemon; it's just their job to read the lines they see. Can you finish it off with false swipe? No. Does Arbok evolve into seviper? No. If people weren't familiar with the series, how would they know that?

The new voice actors suck.

This happens with almost every animated TV show. People can't stay there forever, and they have to find a

replacement. It's very difficult to find someone who sounds exactly the same as the original.

Why did Ash lose to a new trainer like Trip? He sucks!

While it doesn't make logical sense that Ash lost, remember that trip serves as a Rival. Unova is generally considered one of the weakest entries in the anime as well, so it's definitely clunky. If Ash had beaten the living crap out of him like we all expected, then there would be no spark set for their next battle. Ash won this time, what motivation would there be? By having Ash lose, it not only proves that Trip isn't a typical trainer (it's possible he's been through something like a pokemon academy, he's related to an experienced trainer who has helped him, or something along that line, offering even more mystery) it also gives ash a reason to train against him for their next battle. Could it have been handled better, such as the match ending in a draw? probably. Considering pikachu's electric and steel attacks wouldn't do much against a Snivy, it was partly explainable. Ash will beat him by the end of the series just as he did with Paul. Also, remember that Pikachu's being around Zekrom prevented it from using electric moves properly. This is a basic writing technique, which is what the writers of the show are going for.

Why do the pokemon have such bad movesets? It's not logical.

The anime is more about having moves that are visually appealing as opposed to fitting the
pokemon well. Once again, the anime and the games are two different things. A type advantage won't always hurt you in the anime, where it usually does in the games. Is rock slide a good coverage move for a sceptile? Yes. It can cover 4 weaknesses at once. Is it a particularly cool looking move? Not so much. Plus, having rocks appear out of nowhere wouldn't make a ton of sense. Having leaf storm and solarbeam on a pokemon might not be good competitively, but they make for some nice visuals in the anime. Since you are watching and not playing the anime, the visuals play a larger role. There's only so much logic you can get from a show who's premise is a bunch of super powered animals being controlled and forced into fights by little kids.

What's the point in pokemon contests? They're so useless.

Contests were mainly there to appeal to a wider audience. A larger net catches more fish
after all. They didn't take up the entire series; the battles and gyms were still the main focus of the show. It also gave the characters more motivation to stick with Ash. Misty only tagged along to get repaid for her bike. Why would May or Dawn follow Ash then? They might have had the same situation from their bikes, but it would get old quick. If you don't like the contest episodes, you can just skip them. It was also to have more consistent pacing for the writing, addressing one of the biggest complaints of the Johto arc.

Why is the anime so repetitive?

It's an anime that has already jumped the shark, but is still profitable. Most of them tend to be very repetitive. The show is an advertisement for the games at its core, so they want to show as many pokemon as possible. With over 600 pokemon to write about, it's very difficult to write an intricate story about each one. It's much easier to just have an episode focusing on a pokemon, then have something go wrong. If you watch just the significant episodes, such as gym battles and rival battles, the show feels like it has a lot more depth to it. But if they didn't include all the extras, people would complain that other pokemon don't get enough screen time. You can only spread so much time among 600+ pokemon.

What level is [pokemon]

Levels don't exist in the anime. Not everything translates exactly from the game, and thus
the two are not comparable. Misty's poliwhirl evolved into politoed just from holding a
King's rock, even though you have to trade it while it's holding one in order for it to evolve. If there were levels, then pikachu would already be nearly unstoppable. Levels are put in the game to keep things balanced, like a game should be. The games do this so you don't get killed by the first gym leader, then coast through the game until the next one. Does it make sense for a gym leader to have level 10 pokemon, and are outclassed by the regular trainers later on in the game? no. That's put in place to make the game transition well. The anime doesn't have to worry about this, and has no need for levels.

Pikachu "reboot" in new regions is stupid.

It's probably still a bit worn out considering it's usually used in the pokemon league. It took on things like Dragonite, Regice, and Latios, so it's expected for it to be less than 100%. It's also to keep it from being overpowered, as it just took on very tough opponents.

Are Ash and Red the same character?

No. Ash is in the anime, and Red is in the video games. As said before, the two cannot be
compared as they have different definitions of what is "good." By video game standards,
red is one of the strongest trainers, but if you compared him to competitive standards,
his team would be terrible. It's not fair to compare him to that, just as it isn't fair to compare Ash using video game standards. They are in two different mediums and are both powerful trainers in their own rights. The same applies to the manga as well as any fan content.

Why doesn't ash bring back Sceptile,etc.

It would get very old and unbalanced for him to dish out his strongest pokemon all the time. He does bring them back for major battles, and they still hold their own as some of his strongest pokemon, but his newer pokemon are also able to be strong this way too. By keeping the old pokemon in storage, they are able to show off the new pokemon. Plus, for pure fanservice points, Charizard came back.

Is ash a pokemon Master?

There is no clear cut definition of pokemon master by anime standards. It's possible that this is an unattainable goal you strive for, like being the best. Ash will likely challenge members of the elite 4 to prove his worth. Others might define it as unleashing the full potential of your pokemon, as he did with Infernape--something even a trainer as skilled as Paul failed to do.

edited by
Charizard did make a comback in the latest season. I can't remember the episode though
It would be worth noting that the anime is trying to create some type of tension between Ash and Serena (Who has openly admitted to having feelings for him) even though shipping a cartoon is still rather dumb.
To comment on the trip one they used that thing that you said would not work with wally in 3rd gen and wally is one of the best rivals ever, in many peoples opinion
Judging by ash's goals in EVERY REGION I'd say that beating the pokemon league tornumant grants you the title of master.
@TeamRocketBossJ Pokemon Journeys is your savior.
13 votes

Why did they bring May/Dawn instead of Misty?

Misty was the means to show off a taste of the Kanto region. She was the second leader, after all. She left right after Johto since she was no longer the poster girl (remember that you could get to Kanto after johto) and the fact that in Johto, they chose not to use the female trainer as she wasn't developed until Pokemon Crystal, which let you select your gender. This is why Brock ended up in Hoenn, but Misty only appeared in a fanservice episode. They also wanted to start including the trainer from the games as partners, as shown with Dawn/may. They wouldn't pick Brendan or Lucas since they already have two males with Brock and Ash. They've started to go back to the old format with Iris and the other gym leader in the group, but notice how they still fill in the same roles as Brock (voice of reason, explanation, and advice) and misty (the female to help balance the group out and give some contrast) If Misty stayed, then eventually her voice actor would have left, giving people yet another thing to complain about in the series. People would also complain that she doesn't use [pokemon] enough.

Ash Sucks, why do they continue with him?

They probably could have ended with him, but that would leave a lot of plot holes, such as all the unresolved relationships with past trainers and pokemon, the fact that he hasn't
reached his goal, and the fact that the show is still popular. Making sudden changes could
screw over the audience, as shown with Misty leaving. I think most of the complaints about Ash are fueled by the fact that the show is trying to show off the games and thus put him through the exact same plot arcs each time instead of giving him different development points and storylines like normal writing is. The show is a big advertisment.

Why did [move] affect [pokemon]? It doesn't affect that type.

It doesn't make perfect sense, but again, neither does the concept of super powered
animals. They like breaking logic to keep things interesting. A lot of these simply have
little to no explanation to them. The animators may not also know the series typings inside and out, and there can also be instances of mistranslations with the dubs or with the voice actors.

Why does Ash check his pokedex for Pokemon he's already seen?

Checking a Pokedex reveals more than just its name, it reveals data about the species in
general as well as information about the individual being scanned. Paul was able to use it to compare different pokemont to see which one was the best (see "When Pokemon Worlds Combine") The professors are also able to use them to see what the trainer has seen/caught. In the case of Ash scanning a pokemon he's already seen, remember that those pokemon are more spread out for him. He doesn't see a gengar every three episodes. It'll be spread out, so it's bit harder for him to remember. Most of the big fans that would find fault in this probably play the games/analyze the games/show more, so they'll see pokemon like Gengar more than Ash. Is it odd that he hasn't realized that ground is immune to electric by now? Probably, but everyone has lapses in judgement from time to time.

Not only that, but the pokedex entries are regularly updated. The pokedex says "no data" the first time he sees a Gengar, and it updates by the next region. Not only that, but different regions may have the same species behave differently. Surskit in Alola for example are competitors with certain bug pokemon there, something not mentioned if you just went by the Hoenn entry.

The pokedex entries are there more to give the viewers a brief overview of the pokemon. In sinnoh, Ash didn't really check his pokedex; it was usually done by Dawn, who hasn't traveled as much as Ash, and therefore hasn't seen the pokemon as much, so it's perfectly understandable that she's not as familiar with all the pokemon. Since Ash is currently in Unova, he hasn't seen the newer pokemon and isn't familiar with them. The pokedex thing has been done since the beginning of the series, and likely won't stop. They want to advertise the pokemon, remember?

Why does Ash always fall for team rocket?

Team rocket also serves as the comic relief in addition to the antagonists. Dumb bad guys
are very common in cartoons. For example, If you ever watched "adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog," you'd remember that Sonic would make disguises all the time, and easily trick Scratch and Grounder. His job was to provide the humor. the characters don't have to be perfect in predicting things all the time. It keeps it more interesting when we see the lighter side of team rocket. If they were just trying to steal stuff ALL the time, there wouldn't be as much to them. they're obvious to the viewer to add more humor.

How does Meowth Talk?

Meowth taught himself to speak English in the episode "Go West Young Meowth." He fell in love with a female Meowth, and wanted to stand out from the rest. He ultimately lost her affection to a Persian though.

edited by
if they are comical relief then game freak really messed up this time they made them  serious and then 2 seasons later made them funny again
if it was meant to advertise the games, why are they so different?
Now that ash achieved his goal we could get rid of him. But plot holes like new regions, and as was said above, relationships. They're also not getting rid of him because he's based on the head writer, even sharing a name with him in the Japanese version. The name is Satoshi, as in Satoshi Tijiri (not sure i spelled that right)
I get the pokedex entries get updated, but in the xy episode where chespin goes missing and has to fight a delphox, the group checks the pokedex. In the episode where fennekin evolves, serena checks the pokedex for info on Aria's (Arianna's) delphox. The entries are the exact same. What did serena think would change?
if she wasnt the one who had checked it before, it was probably just a simple excuse for the writers to remind the audience while saying that she wanted to register it herself.
Okay. That makes sense.
9 votes

Why is Ash still Ten years old?

Ash is still about 10 years old because Cartoon characters don't age unless the writers want them to. Shows like the Simpsons also do the same. The show has been around for years, but remember that Ash isn't living, and isn't affected by time the way we are. Even if he did, the episodes aren't constantly happening, they usually came out once a week, meaning that 1 week=20-30 minutes for Ash. That wouldn't make any sense. He's as old as the writers make him. It's a very common literary ploy. You can have a birthday, but still not have the characters age in writing. It's a fictional universe after all, and the characters may not need to get older for the writer's intentions. Pokemon is far from the only series to use this writing technique.

Why can the Pokemon learn more than four moves?

Because it's a cartoon. They aren't bound by the rules of the games. A pokemon as intelligent as Alakazam is capable of learning more than four moves. They only keep to four moves in the games for programming reasons, and because having a ton of moves would eliminate strategy in the game, since everything could cover anything. The four moves forces you to pick your moves wisely.

Why do the main Pokemon in the movies get close to dying! They are mostly Legendary pokemon!

Even if they are legendaries, It adds suspense. See:

Why does Ash risk his life for any endangered Pokemon?

Teaching young children ethics and manners appeals to parents to allow their children to watch it. It's marketed to young kids more than teenagers or young adults.

Why are some Episodes missing?

Some episodes are banned due to various reasons, like Stereotypical content or risks of seizures.
Electric Soldier Porygon was banned for giving 628 Japanese kids seizures.

edited by
true very true
There is another reason. Remember the Ho-oh at the end of the first episode? Ash's dream is to become a pokemon master and to keep on training. His wish is "granted" by ho-oh.This can also be a reason why Ash never wins a single league.
I've always wondered why Ash is 10 in every episode. It is kinda weird in my opinion.
Only a dozen got seizures. Everyone else just complained about their headaches then their parents took them to hospital.
Iirc I'm sure there was an episode where James had fake inflatable boobs too. And there was a suit wear competition... That Ash's MOM won.
The part with James is banned in the english dub.
Oh and THE GUN EPISODE! the ridiculous safari zone centred episode that was benned in the US because everyone was carrying FIREARMS. Shouldn't pokemon make guns obsolete anyway? it's annoying too, and leads to another common question: Where did ash's tauros come from?
The mass tauros capture was a running joke in the episode.
They need to give Porygon's a second chance! It's partially Pikachu's fault, not the Porygon's! Gie Porygon's one more chance, another time to shine! Well, not shine and give kids seizures, which was mainly P I K A C H U ' S fault.
8 votes

Why doesn't ash catch any legendary pokemon he sees?

Many of the legendary pokemon serve a purpose like protecting areas and keeping peace. If Ash were to catch them, that would disrupt the ecosystem. The show would also be very boring with Ash carrying around a legendary everywhere. There would be no challenge, and there would be no reason to watch it. Also, if Ash had a legendary pokemon, what's to stop Team rocket/plasma/etc from ganging up on him and stealing it? You really think giovanni is gonna overlook that? Even if they fail, they're just gonna keep trying, making for an even more bland show.

Sun/Moon explicitly points out what a threat most of the ultra beasts are, which is why they are promptly returned home. Ash wouldn't keep Buzzwole because of what a major threat it could pose.

edited by
or ghetis
like ash cares but very true. :-)
At least he can catch a legendary and then release it ,just to fill the pokedex.
But the games=/= the series. In the series, it appears that a person doesn't have to capture a pokemon in order to gather research information for the pokedex, hence why he can scan a pokemon he's never seen before. They already have what they need for research purposes just by interacting with the pokemon or doing historical research related to that pokemon.
so if the anime and the games had a crossover, ash would catch and release the legendary but then the video game main character would sneak up and catch the legendary and keep it. huh.
8 votes

The Sun/Moon art style looks awful.

The artstyle is a more simplistic take that gives the freedom to make more varied and exaggerated expressions. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's extremely important in a universe full of creatures that can't speak, because it lets them convey a lot of information to the viewer without actual dialogue, meaning they don't have to rely on a pokemon going "pika pika pi pi pika" every two seconds and Meowth having to tell the viewer exactly what to feel. He may still give translations some times, but this lets them not only be more comedic, but help everyone feel more alive. Everything down to the wrinkles in Lycanroc's nose to really show how angry it is adds to the experience.

Sawyer is a good example of an issue pretty much every previous installment of the series ran into. The animation may have improved through the generations, but the art style leaves the character models really stiff and awkward. Sawyer always has this one downward eyebrows expression no matter what emotion he's feeling, be it calm, excited, or sad and it's because they have the art style they do.

The battle between Ash vs Nanu shows a great example of the art style working to its advantage as Nanu's body language and expressions gradually change throughhout the battle despite them never actually bringing it up. It gives them the freedom to be a lot more subtle with what's going on. He actually has fixed eyebrows the same way Sawyer does, but they're able to still have him be much more expressive since he can do more with his face and body.

It also means the series isn't as reliant on glorified emoticons to exaggerate expression. The human face is capable of countless and subtle expressions which are shown off more this time around, so while Sun and Moon definitely still uses those emoticon faces, they stand out a lot more because they aren't used as much. While both styles can make for some beautifully animated battles, Sun and Moon's lets them still have more flexibility when they're doing anything else.