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Thread: Watching the early anime seasons, why were Misty and Brock so generally poor at battling when they were Gym leaders?

  1. #1

    Watching the early anime seasons, why were Misty and Brock so generally poor at battling when they were Gym leaders?

    So I finished rewatching the original seasons of the anime recently, and the thing that struck me the most? Misty and Brock are actually very poor battlers in the series, and they probably gave us the worst battles of nearly all the companions in the shows history. Here's my reasons why:


    - After her initial Cerulean Gym match with Ash, where Ash was pretty much on the verge of beating her before Team Rocket busted through the wall (her Starmie was on the verge of fainting, and remember Ash didn't use Pikachu in this battle so Misty would have likely lost more easily if he did), Misty almost never won a battle for the rest of Kanto.

    Misty's Starmie loses to a Graveler in the Giselle episode, "A School of Hard Knocks." After that besides Psyduck getting a headache, I can't recall any other time in Kanto that Misty actually beat another trainer outside of certain circumstance or something like a TR blast-off.. In the Princess Festival episode she borrows Ash's Bulbasaur and Brock's Vulpix to help her win battles instead of using her own. Then the final is Psyduck just getting a headache against Lickitung.

    I think she has no real battles after that until the Golduck episode in Orange Islands where from what I remember she did decently till Golduck came through.

    Then for the majority of Johto she hardly battles at all outside the Totodile episode (she did decently against Ash there), and until she got her Poliwhirl and Corsola in late Johto, where she got the Whirl Cup and a few other battles, and she started to improve a bit. But of course by then she was leaving the series. Most of Misty's pokemon also come across as very weak or incapable at battling outside of certain conditions (Goldeen, Horsea, Togepi, Psyduck, etc), and her Starmie seemed weaker than her Staryu for some reason.

    Brock: I won't go into as much detail about him since Brock rarely battles in the series, but after the Pewter Gym match I don't recall Brock ever winning a battle all the way till he gets his Croagunk in DP. I think every time we watched Brock battle in the anime, it was just to see him lose.

    What's strange is Misty wasn't a beginning female trainer like most of the companions who came after her like May, Dawn, etc....yet despite Misty starting off as an established trainer...she was still generally poor at battling. Unless I'm forgetting something (correct me if I'm wrong), she has the lowest win-rate of a female companion in the series. I honestly can't think of any other female companion who was shown to not be good in battling through their entire run on the show. Obviously since returning to the Gym she got stronger, but for her 5 years on the show, she has a pretty poor battle track record.

  2. #2
    Pop Goes the Gleamsel. Palamon's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Honestly, I feel it's because they were too lazy to write battles for them since they were so focused on Ash battling? But that's just my opinion on the matter.

  3. #3
    It's not that they were bad trainers, the writers simply didn't care about them enough to write good battles. They were purely meant to be companions for Ash and nothing more.

    You also have to understand that both of them never even wanted to be Gymleaders to being with. Brock took over the Gym after his father left and even then Brock had to take care of his brothers and sisters so it's not that he had time to train. Misty took over the Gym after her parents left her and her sisters. Her sisters were to busy to take care over the Gym so they let Misty do it. During Johto they both become better, travelling with Ash made them better. It made Brock find a new goal (to become a Pokémon doctor) but Misty actually started caring more about training which is why she went back after Johto to be a good Gymleader. They even learned how to use Mega evolution. I do wish they were better trainers at the start though.

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  5. #4
    The applause, applause, applause~ MC Elesa's Avatar

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    Feb 2013
    Pretty much what everybody else said here. The writers just didn't want to write interesting battles for them.

    Maybe one of the best decisions the writers have done for Misty was just not have her travel with Ash. She could finally do what she wants which was to battle at the gym. Her character could finally grow beyond being Ash's traveling companion and potential love interest.
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  6. #5
    It's too bad really, outside the battles everyone knows about (cerulean gym, princess ep, the golduck, totodile eps and whirl cup), Misty actually has hardly any battles to go back and watch. Even less if you don't count all the eps Psyduck just popped out of its ball to get a headache.

    What I also don't get is why half her team was portrayed as weak and useless in battle:

    - Togepi literally could not battle
    - Psyduck couldn't battle properly outside of used for comedy
    - Horsea never battled
    - Goldeen couldn't battle on land
    - Starmie seemed weaker than Staryu for some reason, and Misty dumps Starmie at the Gym anyway

    Poliwag was also nothing special till it evolved, so for awhile she just had Poliwhirl and then Corsola and Staryu to battle with. Half her team came across as incompetent and unusable.

    Misty actually spends the majority of her run on the show just holding Togepi on the sidelines outside the few eps that focus on her. It's actually hard to believe but we got more battles from May in just halfway into Hoenn then we got from Misty out of her original 5 year run on the show.

    I've been watching through Hoenn for awhile now and it's pretty funny that May despite being a beginner trainer is already in a lot more battles and got competent a lot faster and earlier in her series than Misty did in hers. It's actually too bad we never got a Misty vs May battle in the anime, I would have liked to see how it would go.


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