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Anonymous says: Any theories or guesses as to why Dawn managed to get in the Top 2 in her first GF while May competed in two of them but only got as high as Top 4?

Because writing.

Well, okay, if you want a “realistic” explanation it’s just luck. It’s luck Zoey and Dawn were paired at the finals—they could have been matched in the first round just as easily, and Dawn would have lost then, but that’s not how the match ups turned out. Likewise, May could have been paired with some random kid after she beat Drew and could have beat that random kid and then be paired with Solidad, where she would have then lost. I mean, do I think Drew is a worse coordinator because he came in second for the Hoenn Grand Festival but then did worse in the Kanto one? No. Drew obviously improved, but he was matched up with May pretty early on, and she just happened to be better than him that day. And that’s honestly all there is to it.

But it’s not luck Zoey and Dawn met in the finals and that May didn’t make it any father than that from a writing perspective. And this just honestly has to do with the difference with how May was written as a coordinator compared to how Dawn was—and how in my opinion May was a bit stronger writing wise. By putting Dawn in the finals and barley winning by a hair, the show is acknowledging that Dawn is so skilled she could have become a Top Coordinator if one thing had been differently. Like, she honestly could have won that battle by a hair. And while that sounds impressive, it kind of stunts Dawn a bit as a coordinator.

By pairing Dawn with Zoey in the finals, there’s no way Dawn had a chance to win because that would mean winning the whole Grand Festival—and the show would never have the main character win the whole thing like that because the characters always need to continue on their journey, grow, etc etc. But… it kind of sucks because Dawn was set up for a loss, where she could never actually beat Zoey. We don’t get that same satisfaction we get from the build up May and Drew or even Paul and Ash have, where we can see them finally overcome their biggest obstacle, etc. But that’s largley because Zoey and Dawn’s rivalry lacked that “tense” aspect to it. They were best friends as well as rivals, and promised to meet in the finals as kind of this promise of their friendship to me. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I just didn’t get the same intensity from their rivalry as others. And because Zoey and Dawn made this promise, writing wise, yeah, it’s going to come true and yeah they’re going to be put in the finals because it shows they’ve kept their promise to both improve and take what they’ve learned to meet each other at the top. Because that’s just the kind of relationship they had.

Which is nice in it sown way, but like I said, Dawn could have honestly won. And because of that, after the Grand Festival, Dawn didn’t get much development as a coordinator. It felt like her arc really came to a close with just a promise to keep doing what she’s doing and keep getting stronger—just general stuff like that. So, while it did give closure, it didn’t give us the same… I guess development May had.

Because with how May was, she couldn’t be in the finals. She didn’t almost win her match against Solidad. She lost significantly despite finally overcoming Drew, showing her that there will always be more challenges and that when she finally overcame one thing she realizes there’s always more to overcome and work on. If May was in the finals, I don’t think the impact would be as big to show May’s development as a coordinator and how she has more she needs to do—unlike Dawn, May continued to have coordinating development after the Grand Festival when dealing with her battle style and what to do next.

And that’s really all it comes down to. May was much more focused on and stronger as a battler in the show writing wise than Dawn was—from her battle style to her heated rivalries. The show didn’t care about Dawn as a battler as much—she was much more appeal heavy. So that’s why I think May did worse—because the show wanted to focus on her battling and develop it and give it more room to grow, while they simply didn’t want to give Dawn that same focus. And it’s really too bad, because while Zoey and Dawn’s relationship have a lot of high points, I would have loved to see it given he same kind of closure and intensity May and Drew’s had—but I suppose because Dawn wasn’t as battle heavy and just had a completely different kind of rivalry with Zoey, it wasn’t really as focused on and Ash and Paul had that particular spotlight instead. Which isn’t bad—Zoey and Dawn’s rivalry was nice and different and it was cool to see the friendly rivalry thing, but it just didn’t make her battles as stand outtish as May and Drew’s and Ash and Paul’s I guess is my point.

This really strayed away I’m sorry, but I’ll end by saying no matter what I’m sticking to my guns by saying because of the way things were shown and written, May is a more skilled battler than Dawn is—but in return Dawn is a better performer (I guess that’s the best way to word doing appeals).

But just remember in contests it’s also about luck, because I know someone’s going to be like “then why did Dawn beat May wah”. The same way Grace swept the floor with Drew but May beat her after, honestly. Battles aren’t just about a knock out, and strength isn’t the only way to win points. I think May is a lot more offensive and strategical than Dawn, but I think Dawn is a lot more… I don’t know if I want to say creative, but she’s better at being flashier about her moves which that alone can take away points of other’s without even landing a hit. Not that I don’t think Dawn has no battle skills, but yeah, my point is contest battles are complex and there’s a lot more to it than some people think.

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