Part 39: Omni's Asides - Pokemon LeaguePokemon Special Differences: The Pokemon League
So the Elite 4 as a whole are a very different organization than in the video games, but we'll cover them as they appear. The Pokemon League however is much more like the anime... but also not. First of all, 8 gym badges are NOT a requirement for participating. As Red was the last person to fight Giovanni and even he didn't get the badge, because he passed out after the fight and Giovanni was gone by then. (As an aside, it's hilarious to me how Ash got most of his badges by pity, while Red got most of his badges by tearing them from the unconcious bodies of his foes) So rather it's done a lot like the anime, Preliminary matches to set up to determine who the final contestents would be, and we do get our final four.
Red and Green are paired off in the Semi-finals (making Red a little upset as he intended to meet his rival in the final match) and Blue faces off against the 'mysterious' Dr. O who is up first. Blue is beaten into a corner by O because he's using nothing but bird pokemon and Blue has absolutely no flying types to counter, her only method of flying, her Blastoise, is slow and cumbersome for battle. However, Blue has a very good reason for not having any birds...
As would be revealed in the coming arcs, when Blue was a little girl, she was kidnapped by fucking Ho-Oh and taken to the Mask of Ice's secret home, along with the son of Giovanni, Silver. There, Mask of Ice trained the children to be ruthless trainers who would serve him loyaly, however, Blue escaped, bringing Silver with her and making it back to Palette town... where of course the talk of the town was Red and Green, who'd been making names for themselves as trainers. This planted the seeds of jealousy in Blue, she was their age, and she would have recieved a Pokedex and a starter pokemon too, she wanted to be doing what they were doing.
Dr. O, of course, is Professor Oak. Who wanted to confront the thief of his squirtle from the second volume of the manga. He gives Blue her Pokedex and officially gives her his blessing for being Blastoise's trainer, giving Blue a true home against after so long without it. Of course. Oak retires from the tournament.
After all, he was already a Pokemon Champion, having defeated Agatha as a youth (Using normal types, because Oak is nothing if not a contrarian dick who wants to rub his victories in) and like many old men saw it as his job to step down and let the next generation (Or in his case the generation after that) have the spotlight.
This of course, meant that the semi-finals were now the finals. With our final match up being, Red vs Green.
This is one of the best fights of the series, and the perfect capstone to Red and Greens character arcs, as well as just being really inventive without being that ludicrous. so I recommend reading it yourself.
After the RGB arc of course, came Yellow and the Elite 4, but they'll get their own little section. As far as the league, the rules would change across the chapters until we got the BW rules. In GSC, the league was the same, but it was amended after the tournament finished that gaining all 8 badges would let you skip the preliminaries, this was designed to keep the Gym Leaders busy and stop them from joining team rocket and stuff like that. In RSE, the League also allowed those who won to challenge the Elite 4 (This being the first time an Elite 4 was a league sponsored group) 4 previous champions that were ruled over by the most current champion to toppel them. In this case it was RSE's elite 4 and Steven... Steven because WALLACE was the winner of the tournament, but he'd chosen to relinquish the position as champion to become a gym leader as Winona, his girlfriend, was also a gym leader... of course she didn't appreciate his actions so she broke up with him.
The League doesn't come into play in DPP but it finaly returns as a focus for the Black and White arc. Namely- eh fuck it, let Black speak for himself.
This actually makes Black The first protagonist in the series who's motivation was to become Pokemon Champion, as even Red didn't really have that as his goal when he set out. And for Sapphire it was more of an emotional desire to surpass her old self. At this point in the series, 8 Badges had become a requirement to challenge the Pokemon league, and there was no more Preliminaries. All in all, I really wish the games would backport some of these ideas into them. I'd love the Pokemon League to be a collection of rivals from across the region, defeating them all leading to fighting the Elite 4 and then the champion. It'd make for a fucking better Victory Road than Victory Road.