So let me rap to you all about why the DP Saga of the Pokemon anime is so great and why you should all probably watch it in commemoration of Diamond and Pearl’s 10th anniversary
Lets start with our main character, Ash Ketchum at this point has had three regions worth of experience and it shows, in battles hes inventive, experimental, and is great at thinking of a solution when the pressure is on him, he’s not invincible though and he still has a lot to learn as a trainer and DP really explores that very well, there’s a lot of honoring Ash’s path to get where he is at this point and it felt like his journey mattered to his character and his previous accomplishments carried weight instead of being swept under the rug. But do not his experience fool you as he’s still a massive dork at heart, just as much as he’s willing to take part in a good battle he’ll be there to don ridiculous cosplay and wear maid outfits with zeal.
Part of what makes his character so good this seasons is his desire and drive to always get stronger and surpass his previous limits, which was possible in no small part due to his fantastic relationship with Paul, and the arc he shared with Chimchar. Basically you get a feeling that Ash has someone where to go as a character this saga and he isnt just going through the motions via Gym challenges, and the pay off to it all is excellent, easily the best his character has had in a single saga.
Ive mentioned Chimchar already but I have to repeat again that it’s arc is one of the best highlights of DP. it original belonged to Paul but eventually joined Ash’s team and as a result becomes the thread that binds them togehter, it’s issues with PTSD and becomming blinded by rage due to it’s own hidden power and how Ash has to overcome it with Chimchar is easily one of the best arcs involving a trainer and POkemon on the show.
Speaking of PAUL
THIS GUY is what really made DP such a engaging saga to watch, previous rivals Ash and other characters had always come in diffrent personalities, some where nice, others were egotistical or mean, or vindictive, but at their core they still loved their Pokemon and treated them well. Paul on the other hand was nothing like that, he only saw Pokemon as tools to become stronger and love was unneeded and a distraction, which, as you imagine, got on Ash’s nerves.
Pokemon is usually very black and white when it came to portraying the morals of it’s characters, but then we have someone like Paul, who treats his Pokemon with coldness but isnt a villain or evil, hes still calm and respectful to those that deserve it, but his methods and ideologies when it comes to Pokemon training is on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to our main character, and the best part about their whole dynamic is how it isnt just Ash trying to take the moral high ground (in fact he’s called out for doing so more then once) and prove that his methods are better then Paul’s but in fact, mutual acknowledgement from both parties that there are effective ways in how the other trains their Pokemon. I find that type of lesson really interesting and different for hte anime and to see both characters come to gradually realize it from their battle and general interactions was amazing (and again, Chimchar is the personification of what the dynamic is trying to convey). And of course their final battle is still untouched as the best battle to ever been seen in the show’s run.
Dawn is perfect, okay not exactly but she’s CLOSE. A spunky, motivated, if somewhat naive and kinda clumsy Coordinator who puts her all into everything she does, a great character for the show and my overall favorite Pokegirl!
Her arc was about learning to blaze her own path as a coordinator and not have to fall back on the illustrious reputation of her mom who was once a talented coordinator herself. She had to learn that there are some harsh truths one has to confront and overcome if you wanted to be the best. Seeing her dealing with setbacks and failure, lossing her passion in something because you dont feel like anything you do is good enough, they’re all extremely relatable things for me personally and im sure for a lot of other people as well. Her Pokemon are great with Piplupo, Mamoswine, Ambipoom and Buneary being very charming and endearing characters in their own right.
Piplup in particular is definitely a show stealer and a Pokemon that stands out and the arc Dawn has with Mamoswine and wanting to show it how fun contests can be while it was originally dismissive is also one of her best moments.
Her mentor/student relationship with Zoey also deserves a mention, when Zoey first met Dawn she was in a League of her own with Dawn being a good deal behdin Zoey in skill but over time she learned from her setbacks and eventually grew into a worthy rival
And also her relationship with Ash is my personal favorite among the pokegirls, they play off each other very well and serve as great pillars of support for one another, they took strategies from each other to implement int their own creative ways, and were always there to cheer each other on in their Gym Battles and Contests, it was just really nice to see two so characters so invested in their goals and the goals of their friend.
Although the Ash-Dawn-Paul power trio is what definitely makes DP fantastic on the whole, lets go into the other things it excels at.
Yes even before we had amazing animation on the regular and fancy fusion frogs, the battles in Diamond and Pearl were in a league of their own, even without the amazing animation most of the time I still think these were the most engaging and carefully constructed battles we’ve ever gotten, it’s definitely the thing DP was remembered most fondly for before being eclipsed by XY, which is a little unfair.
What DP’s battles excelled at was probably the incredible amount of attention to Pokemon moves, abilities, status effects and so on was given and the battles usually were fairly well thought out and planned, as well as interesting to watch because there was so much little detail given to them a lot of the time.
Oh and TRAINING, this series is the most we got on that regard as well, this is usually an acquired taste but i personally LOVED seeing Ash and Dawn train with their Pokemon, hashing out strategies and perfecting moves in general. I just was a sucker seeing the thought process behind the strategies they came with before then implementing them in a later battle, whole episodes are devoted to training and I think that’s fucking rad.
There are plenty of other characters I forgot to mention but DP has a very likable and animated cast. Off the top of my head you have the Barry who’s always good for a laugh and is generally hot headed and wont let anyone get in his way (or he’ll fine you), Conway who’s analytical and intelligent mind is only eclipsed by is “interest” in Dawn and wanting to impress her with his nerd knowledge.
And speaking of Dawn we also have childhood friend Kenny who always manages to get some of the best interactions from her with his teasing and frequent usage of the demeaning nick name “Dee Dee”. We also have the Hoenn Princess herself May coming back for a extended cameo which is easily the best we had for a Pokegirl returns, serving a vital role in Dawn’s own character arc! Almost character gets a moment to shine on their own and doesnt feel snuffed out which is also one of DP’s biggest strengths.
Probably my favorite ensemble cast in terms of Pokemon. Seeing them grow alongside their trainers was also a series highlight, some get more focus then others of course but what they might lack in development or focus they make up for in having very entertaining personalities and quirks. Brock’s Croagunk in partiuclar pretty much steals the show in every scene he’s in and his Happiny with it’s ridiculous strength made for some great comedic moments as well.
Other highlights include Ash’s Gliscor who goes from being a crybaby to being a strong battler, Turtwig dealing with the loss of it’s speed when it became Grotle and learned to adapt to it’s new form, Ash’s Aipom who was traded to Dawn after it’s longing run interest in Contests (way back inin AG) reached it’s climax. And of course I already mentioned Piplup, Mamoswine and Chimchar.
GREAT EMOTIONAL MOMENTS
This saga had me tearing up more then any other, mostly due to the great amount of investment you feel in the people and Pokemon and wanting to see them overcome from their worst setbacks. In particular Chimchar’s arc, Dawn’s setback arc, and a good number of standalone moments, just a good saga that resonated emotionally with me very well.
I didnt cover everything but that’s the brunt of why DP is a great series and why you should watch it, it’s not a perfect series of course and there are legitamite flaws that can be pointed out (which I have in the past) but overall I think if you’re a Gen 4 fan looking for a good fix this is definitley something you sould give a chance. #sinnohconfirmed
Oh my goodness the parallels between pokeshipping and Ariel & Eric’s relationship makes me believe that pokeshipping will eventually become canon just like Ariel and Eric did.
Why did I never make this connection before? Especially since The Little Mermaid is my favorite princess and disney movie; while pokeshipping is my favorite pokemon ship! And Misty is favorite pokegirl.
Like omg how did I not make this connection. Both girls are redheads and grew up in the water! And both girls met their babies through water. Ariel with the ship and Misty in the river. Their companions both happen to have the colors yellow and blue; flounder and togepi. And their lovers’ happen to cherish their companions too. Eric and his dog and Ash with pikachu. THERE ARE SO MANY SIMILARITIES AND I COULD GO ON AND ON LIKE MY BRAIN IS HAVING EPIPHANIES LEFT AND RIGHT.