The in-depth serious answer is below! But here’s the quick, kinda rude summary:
My bluntly honest verdict is: some kinda Freudian unresolved daddy issues, but like, unsurprising with PokeAni’s dreadful dead/distant/deadbeat dad track record. Touching mentor-and-protege dynamic once the breaking-and-rebuilding-of-pedestal ordeal’s through. Gently resolved with redirecting him to focusing on learning to make friends and enjoying the time he has now instead of rushing to meet some intangible ideal of strength; very wise and sweet.
I absolutely do not want to see this become requited in canon, I feel like it’d defeat the purpose, there’s no way to make it work and creeeeeeeepyyyyy.
It is amusingly bizarre how much the fandom overlooks this, because it explains a LOT about Shootie/Trip’s weird little obsession and explains his… honestly, very apparent jealousy and possessiveness about Adeku (which Adeku highlighted in his first ep with that “a woman’s heart” barb), the weird borderline stalkery behaviour, and even the dub hardly covered it up so much as awkwardly danced around it: “By any chance, do you love/like me?” to “Do you have any admiration for a man such as myself?”
SMOOTH, real smooth.
I’m gonna have to say right off the bat I do not wish to see it requited in any stretch of the imagination, oh my God. That is no mere age gap, that is an AGE CANYON. Adeku is old. SO old. He was an old man when they met and Trip was, what, six? Seven??? How old was that kid, where as his parents?!
I liked the way Adeku handled it, it was very wise! Minus maybe asking the question in the stadium, place and time?????? But, I suppose it’d be much creepier/weirder to ask it in a place that isn’t public, aha… the whole ordeal was gonna be Awkward no matter how he went about it.
I do wish more fans stuck around instead of writing Adeku off for the careless, sleep-deprived, and messy way he behaved in his first appearance, he is powerful, both how amazingly powerful he was in his battle with Shootie (acknowledging the kid’s strategy as being excellent, that another opponent would have surely been defeated, “CHIKASHI washi ga CHAMPION!”/”However I am theChampion!”was an absolutely epic line, alright?! Iwane’s animation REALLY sold it too, “Come at me full force, I’ll neither run nor hide!” too, aaaaaah) and incredibly wise and kind in his reassuring Shootie when he thought his loss was because he was missing something or doing something wrong…
Very gentle and reassuring there, no, you didn’t do anything wrong, so what if you lost? It’s alright, isn’t it? It’s not all about that. Stressing the importance of trust over winning. And redirecting him to focus on making friends and enjoying his journey instead of focusing solely on relentlessly pursuing power and letting everything pass him by, look, your partner loves you, are you living up to those feelings? It’s a really nice contrast to the advice he (supposedly?) gave Shootie as a small child, that it’s all about winning battles and to grow up quickly. ^^;;
Lambie, did you just paraphrase nearly all their interactions, YES, BUT I can’t help it, favourite scenes, favourite episode, so good, and such an important conversation and it really helped take Shootie out of that mindset where he has to seal himself off from any kind of feelings or connecting with anyone else, even his Pokemon, and you can see the profound effect it has on him because he changes for the better almost immediately after it. No coldly rejecting Satoshi, no more insults, they’re starting to become friendly, “Don’t lose before you battle me!” and it’s just really sweet…
I think he’s definitely had a very good effect on him, but yeah, strictly as a mentor.
Shootie’s feelings… the fact that he stated his goal was just Adeku, but later elucidated as being to prove his strength to him and earn his acknowledgement… but, Serena’s persistence is rewarded and there might bea possibility for her feelings to be requited, it’s age-appropriate, etc., for Shootie… well, no such possibility, so he had to be put down. (Gently.)
It’s important to note Shootie doesn’t really talk about his goals or dreams like the other kids do. He keeps to himself, but even when things come to light, he almost never says he wants to be a Champion and that’s it, except as a small child. He talks about wanting to be strong, considers this a part of proving himself to be that, yes, but otherwise… if he talks about becoming Champion, as I recall, he mostly talks about it in terms of that promised battle. When he does talk about ending Adeku’s reign as Champion, it’s solely to prove his methods as being superior, to prove he’s right, Adeku’s wrong, etc.
It always, always revolves around Adeku! It’s very circular. “Becoming a Champion” isn’t the end goal. Which is why I could see him, honestly, later taking his journeys more casually. He’d train diligently, certainly, he wants to be strong, but content just to drift from place to place, not tied down by any sort of position or career. His little game appearance even labels him as “wanderer,” he’d probably follow Adeku’s footsteps in that respect.
It’s strange how singularly obsessed he is with him and gaining his approval or attention, whether he adores or resents him, and makes me think the kid has got no other significant adults in his life, because seriously, not one mention of anyone else, it’s just Adeku-san, Adeku-san, Adeku-san, prove my strength to Adeku-san… and the curious absence of parental figures in his flashback, how’d this kid get here???
But probably not as a child >< I can see them meeting around the time they started their journey, or a few years later as young teenagers (there’s suuuuch good art of that kind of thing).
However, Adeku’s partner Pokémon, Merlarva/Larvesta, was hatched… I can’t decide between on the day of his birht, or if he took care of the egg as a young kid. Both very cute. At any rate, that was his childhood best friend. —- Ah, wait, he canonically says he got it when he became a trainer… then, he grew up with a Ulgamoth/Volcarona, and when he neared trainer age, was given one of its eggs to look after, to be his first Pokémon. There we go uwu
He was a bright, boisterous, slightly roughhousing child; very fun and sociable and most people couldn’t help but like him, even though he got into all kinds of trouble with adults. However, he never made very close friends; he didn’t feel pained by that, he was perfectly fine by himself (and with his Pokémon) and being superficially sociable without actually sharing much about himself, but not many people realized that.
Only child, affectionate family, aaaaand most importantly, all his grandparents; he didn’t live through the death of anyone he knew until his Ulgamoth. He lived in a small village (I want to say perhaps near Souryuu City/Opelucid — Shaga/Drayden is also an old acquaintance — so his house in Sangi/Floccesy Town is not his family house; perhaps he moved as far away as he could when he became Champion and/or when he started getting depressed.)
Never in his life could Alder remember glaring at fruit with as much disdain as he was now. It wasn’t as if the bowl with varies tropical fruit (mango, pineapple and various sweet berries he’d grown in his own garden) offended him as such, but the thought that this was to be his breakfast for the day was enough to put him in a sour mood.
Agreed, it's so cute how he gets bothered that Vanipeti might be /offended/ by Iris' Ice Type-phobia and contrasting that to Shinji consciously recreating a traumatic event... wel... ( it's so cute how protective Roubushin is too, although I do wonder why it would feel the need to protect him from other people-- other Pokemon, I'd understand, but people? He is pretty tiny and frail looking, I guess if you're mostly made up of muscle, he'd look even more in need of protection, ffff).
Yessss, it was so cute with Vanipeti!
And I did wonder about Roubushin, too! Plus, Roubushin was now bigger than Shooti compared to its much shorter pre-evo, so that might have changed its views/perspective on its human =D (And I said ‘protection’, but basically: protecting his personal space from Satoshi who was heading right towards him, but provoked by Shooti… Though Shooti called Roubushin back right away when it went in threatening mode.)
It’s really cool, and really BW!-like, that Adeku’s words were about his relationship to his Pokémon. Shooti was pretty emotional, and sometimes shown considerate with his Pokémon, but contrarily to Satoshi, he obviously had trouble putting it in words. (Because it’s “too childish”? There are a lot of moments Shooti blatantly behaves The Way An Adult Should (According To Him)). Adeku and Satoshi both have no problem saying words of care or love, and Adeku’s last question to him made him avoid those while at the same time delivering the message to Jalorda. I realy think that the main running theme in Best Wishes! was communication/dealing with the present when plagued with events from the past (or, well. It’s the case with Iris, Shooti and N, and those are the ones I tend to view as the characters who needed to resolve issues the most - and they found their solutions), so it’s pretty nice that, in Shooti’s case, it all had to do with acknowledging that Jalorda loved him, accepting it, putting it in words and expressing that he wasn’t feeling unworthy of this dedication. Contrarily to what Shooti seemed to think, now, it’s not immature at all!
And didn’t he seem to feel better afterwards <3 ? ~
The other characters shown in the 16th movie credits. Don’t mind the repeated CITV logo.
The Gym Leaders were there as well, but as I’m not a professional in placing together spliced images - as you can see - doing it for them was something I was unable to achieve (constant change in lighting is what it was).
N gets three because he deserved to have all of his different poses shown