The Pokémon anime tends to follow the lead of the many games that build up the respective regions and generations. This means that players and fans of the franchise will often be taught lore, facts, and rules that they believe to be gospel by the time the anime rolls around.
Still, the Pokémon anime has been known to take creative liberties in regards to numerous concepts within the franchise, and while some are seemingly illogical, others make creative sense. Regardless, breaking rules that have already been set within a franchise can do more harm than good, as the lack of consistency affects continuity and the sense of immersion.
10 Characters Not Aging Beyond A Certain Point Brings Problematic Inconsistencies
The fact that Ash Ketchum has never aged beyond being 10 years old, is a fact that often annoys fans due to it taking away from any continuity. Ash goes on all these adventures in various regions, but everything isn’t always linked together cohesively. While he has forgotten various valuable lessons along the way, he has still retained some aspects that help him grow as a trainer and person.
Ash not aging at all over the course of 25+ years takes away from that immersion that the Pokémon franchise so often encourages. The anime can easily be watched on an episodic basis, but there are still overarching stories that deserve extra care in the long term. Consistent aging and progression would help with this.
9 Gary Oak’s Reveal Of Ten Kanto Badges Brought The Gym Challenge & Region Scope Into Question
Ash and Gary’s rivalry was an interesting theme throughout the Kanto and Johto adventures, but arguably wasn’t explored enough. The two rarely battled, and most of Gary’s appearances were rubbing in the fact that he was well ahead of Ash in terms of places and Pokémon discovered.
In “Battle of the Badge,” Gary even revealed that he had earned 10 Gym Badges, with several of them not even being those that Ash had earned. It has always been implied that there are eight Gyms and Gym Badges to earn before gaining entry to the Pokémon League in each region. However, this suggests that Ash and his friends are barely exploring any of the Pokémon world, despite maintaining the illusion that they are traveling all over.
8 Ash Manages To Pull Off Numerous Bizarre Strategies That Should Not Be Possible
Ash has pulled out some interesting and highly illogical strategies over the course of the entire Pokémon anime, that just would not work in the games. While the anime obviously needs to branch away from the turn-based combat of the games, it sometimes goes too far beyond trainers simply telling their Pokémon to dodge.
Ash has used strategies such as Thunder Armor and Counter Shield to defeat Tate & Liza and Fantina respectively. Not only do these examples not make much sense logistically, the former especially, but they are moves being used outside their actual purpose.
7 Pikachu Has Defied Type Matchups On Multiple Occasions To Defeat Ground Types
Ash’s Pikachu is well-known for being overpowered given its small stature and that it never evolved into Raichu, but Pikachu has also pulled off some feats that aren’t possible in the games. On numerous occasions, the fact that Ground types are immune to Electric-type moves has been ignored.
This issue tends to occur when Ash battles against Rock and Steel-type Gym Leaders. It is almost as if the anime disregards the secondary typing of Ground when it comes to these Pokémon. Over the course of the entire anime, Pikachu has finished off several Onix, Geodude and many others with an impossible Electric-type move.
6 Pikachu Was Defeated By A Supposedly Non-Damage Move In Screech
There are certainly plenty of moves that get a different showing in the anime than they do in the games. However, there are some that go way beyond the scope of their supposed limitations. When Ash faced Roark in his first unsuccessful Oreburgh Gym challenge, the Gym Leader’s Onix was able to knock out Ash’s Pikachu with a Screech. In the games, Screech merely reduces defense, but in this case, it was strong enough to push Pikachu backward and knock it out, albeit thanks to the impact with a large rock.
5 Shingo Tried To Have His Scizor Finish Off Ash’s Heracross With A False Swipe
False Swipe is a move that has become a handy tool for Pokémon players over the years. Its premise of leaving the opponent with at least 1 remaining HP makes it perfect for catching Pokémon in the wild. However, in the anime, more specifically the episode “Wired For Battle,” a trainer named Shingo planned to use the move to defeat an opponent.
Shingo’s Scizor was thwarted by Ash’s Heracross due to it easily resisting the move. However, it was never definitively implied whether False Swipe’s true components were actually acknowledged or not, as it could well have just been a case of ignorance on either the show’s part or the trainer’s.
4 There Have Been Several Inconsistencies With The Properties Of Ghost-Type Pokémon
Ghost types will always be a bizarre and mysterious collection of Pokémon, but there have been plenty of occasions when the anime has been unable to stick with the previously established rules of the type. Ghost and Normal types should both be immune to attacks of the other typing, but in “A Shipful of Shivers” a Gastly used Lick on Team Rocket’s Meowth.
There was also an inconsistency in “Hoenn Alone” with a Haunter hitting Ghost-type moves on the same Meowth, while its own move Fury Swipes had no effect. The inconsistencies make sense in terms of making the Ghost types look formidable and dangerous, but it goes against the actual rules and matchups of the franchise.
3 Pikachu Defeating Blaine’s Rhydon Threw Up Multiple Issues
Ground types being hit by Electric attacks happens on several occasions in the Pokémon anime, but one specific moment has riled fans up more than others. When Ash battled Blaine at the Cinnabar Island Gym, the Gym Leader’s Rhydon was felled by Pikachu targeting its horn with electricity.
In the games, Rhydon utilizing its Lightning Rod ability is good because of its immunity to attacks from an Electric type, but in the anime, the horn simply served as a quick way to get itself eliminated. This was one of several moments that annoyed fans about Pikachu’s plot armor and matters of convenience.
2 The Anime Has Shown Status Effects As Battle-Enders
In the games, Pokémon have always been a part of the fight until their HP has been reduced to zero. This means that status effects such as sleep or paralysis do not eliminate them from proceedings.
In the early stages of the anime, however, any infliction of sleep or other status conditions could spell immediate defeat. Ash recalled several Pokémon due to status conditions, with a judge even ruling his Squirtle as being knocked out against Ritchie’s Butterfree when it was really only asleep. With the anime respecting the turn-based combat in its own way, Pokémon should always be given time to wake up or recover from status effects within the tactical realms of a battle.
1 Ash Received Several Gym Badges Without Winning Or Earning Them
The Pokémon games require players to win battles in order to reap the rewards and get Gym Badges. However, in the anime, Ash manages to obtain multiple Gym Badges through alternative means, diminishing the integrity of the Gym challenge circuit.
Ash has received his Gym Badges for showcasing good effort or saving a Pokémon, whereas they should only ever be awarded for well-earned victories. Shortcuts do very little to progress the anime’s story in any way, even going as far as harming the credibility of the protagonist.