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 Why are fans adamant about distinguishing lead characters? 
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:29 am
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While I was browsing GameFAQs' contest board a couple of minutes ago, I saw somebody with the user name "Red_is_Ash." Somebody else made a completely off-topic troll reply to announce, "Red is not Ash. Red is Red. Ash is Ash." While this is just an anecdote at best, it did get me thinking about the Pokemon fandom in general and why people, on messages boards like this and especially the folks over at Bulbapedia/Bulbagarden, are so dead-set on maintaining that Red IS NOT Ash.

I look at it like this. My first train of thought is, "Well, maybe people consider Red and Ash to be different people because they don't have the same names." But then I see people do these same sorts of nitpicky distinctions for anime May and game May. Both are girls named May. Both look exactly alike. Both start their journies in Littleroot Town. Both have fathers who are the Petalburg Gym Leader. Yet they are not the same character, shrieks the fandom!

From here I ponder, "Well, maybe people consider Ash and anime May to be different from Red and game May/Sapphire because their personalities are different." Counterpoint two: Misty, Brock and now Iris and Dento are Gym Leaders in the video games and main characters in the anime. Nobody ever disputes that anime Misty is "not (video game) Misty," nor vice versa, and the same is true for Brock. Anime Brock is Brock and game Brock is Brock all the same. Yet the characters are clearly fleshed out in the anime more than in the games, so they can't be exactly analogous, even though everyone just accepts that they are while splitting hairs over the player characters.

And then you have Blue, who is basically Gary in everything but name, including personality. But because his NAME isn't "Gary," people will swear up and down that BLUE AND GARY ARE NOT THE SAME CHARACTER. Even though Gary is portrayed much closer to in-game Blue than anime Brock and Misty are to in-game Brock and Misty.

And don't even bring the manga into this discussion, because that just adds about twelve more variations of the same character based on game Red, all of whom the fandom INSISTS are NOT game Red NOR Ash NOR the other seventeen mangas' incarnations of Red!

Bottom line: this fandom and its many neuroses f*cking confuse me.


Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:26 am
Dragon Tamer
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Based on the evaluation you gave I can clearly see your point. Though, I would have to say that the anime characters were based on the video game characters or vice versa. Considering the anime doesn't give you choice or a sense of self with the protagonists, I can see where people would begin to argue that these characters are not one in the same, considering they have different accomplishments in each universe.

The Manga would be just the same, in it that it's an entirely different universe with exactly the same setting. Saying anime Misty is the same/is different from Manga Misty or Game Misty would be like saying Tenchi in Tenchi Muyo is the same/is different from Tenchi in Tenchi Universe. The characters have the same basis but are obviously from very different art forms and most likely were written by entirely different people, hence given their personality differences and accomplishments.

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Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:56 am
Pokemon Ranger
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It confuses me too, but the one thing I agree on is Red and Ash aren't the same people. Not the same looks or personalities. One's obnoxious, the other's silent. As for everyone else, THEY ARE THE SAME PEOPLE. Seems like a big fat duh to me.

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Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Pokemon Master
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First Id like to say that I thought I was the one who had too much time on my hands.

Second, I beleive that the game the anime and the manga are totally seperated and neither effect the other.

Third- I agree with Edoc'sil. Ash is not Red, and Red is not Ash.

And with that I wipe my hands clean of this and go on to live my life. Hey , anyone seen my Ds?

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Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:11 pm
Pokemon Master
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I don't really care if people compare Red to Ash, or say that they are the same. People can have an opinion, it doesn't really bother me, until they try oh so adamantly to convince me otherwise. Personally I think each variation of Pokemon, whether it be the games, manga, or anime, is a different canon or universe. Each character in each universe are probably based off one another, but each should be treated as different characters, or in the case a similarity to a character in one of the games in the anime are so blatantly obvious, then they are just two versions of the same dude.

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Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:28 pm
Psypoke Maniac
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Yeah, I believe that this is just 1 of those series that has multiple canon universes...

I will say this though, though it is not that obvious to some, Misty has the same personality in the game as she does in the anime, period & I also say Red isn't Ash but I honestly just do not really care either way...

TBF though, I do tend to always personally hold the belief that any anime based off a manga is in a different universe then the manga, just that there are things that happen exactly the same in both of them, it is the same if it was a game based off an anime or a game based off a manga, etc...

That situation is more annoying to me then it will ever be confusing, hate when those discussions get bulky...

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Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:46 pm
Pokemon Trainer
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There are so many ways to treat the relationship between red and ash. Judging by his pokemon he uses it becomes apparent that gamefreak were trying to make red the character that past players would have used in yellow version. As for the argument regarding red not talking compared to the attitude of ash in the anime i believe that red does not say anything because red is not supposed to say anything because the protagonist in yellow version didn't say anything either likewise are red and blue version. But in saying that he is based on the main character from yellow version, isn't yellow version based directly on the anime?
Overall I believe that "Red" is based on the Main character that we use in yellow version. As to the argument on whether "Red" is indeed "Ash" one must take into account the link between Red (GSC and HGSS) and the main character from Yellow Version and the vast similarities between the main character and the storyline from yellow version compared to the anime.

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Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:56 pm
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Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:02 pm
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Pokemon Master
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Red is the embodiment of the people who played Red, Blue and Yellow. His lack of a character surprisingly give him so much character, he is you in a way, the embodiment of all the fond memories you had with the original 151, he's your childhood (if you grew up in the late 90's/early 00's), and because of this he has so much power over the fans. Also, let's be honest, his fans would probably riot and kill all Nintendo staff on sight if they ever made Red speak in a new game.

Ash, like Red is a character that we have a fondness for, but he lacks something that Red has, he didn't give you that sense of adventure that Red did because you have no control over what Ash does in the series, he's just a character based on the character. Sure, Ash is probably just as important to the fandom as Red, but he didn't let you take control of him or become a Pokemon Master, he was just a kid in a cartoon based on the game where you could do that.

The same can be said about most player characters and their anime counterparts. The exception is May, May in the game is exactly like every other player character in the series, and guess what the anime's incarnation of May is just that, an incarnation of the same blasted character. Who cares if you can name in-game May "Jailbait" and the anime counter part is a completely annoying *****? They're the same freaking character, down to the oversized bust that no 10 year old should ever have.

Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:11 pm
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