Originally Posted by winstein
Actually, some fans found Johto a chore to watch because it has a large amount of fillers, which dragged down the experience. For Hoenn, it's not just the contests that fans found refreshing, but it's also how Ash becomes more intelligent because there's another character to play the "rookie" instead of him.
This is how I feel. Apart from the contests being refreshing bit, because I actually don't like contests at all and am really glad they got rid of them in Black and White!
I did start to get bored of the anime by the end of Johto. I feel like Hoenn copied a lot of storylines from Kanto and Johto to the point where episodes felt like repeats with a few different Pokemon subbed in. One thing I did enjoy was seeing Ash take the role of mentor. I think it's the most character development he's ever had and I really liked that you could see he had learnt a lot from Brock and Misty and was passing it on to May and Max.
Unfortunately I felt that stopped in Sinnoh. He and Dawn seem more evenly matched, which means Ash has gone backwards. I find the same thing in the few Unova episodes I've seen, with Iris constantly calling Ash a "kid". (Does that girl annoy the Pikachu outta anyone else or is it just me?!) The Pokemon are the only ones who end up having some character development and it's just made the series rather bland to me.
It's just a shame that Pokemon has so much potential to be awesome, yet the writers insist on reusing the same old thing. If it was an American show I would understand as everyone outside Japan seems to believe Pokemon is just for kids. But I would expect better from Japanese story writers since Pokemon is such a huge thing in Japan and they know they have fans of all ages!