Anime-style battling

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Anime-style battling, or ASB, was a game run on a number of major Pokémon forums, including Bulbagarden forums, Smogon, Forums, and The Marriland Forums, which involved two or more players, called Trainers, having a roleplay battle in the vein of Pokémon the Series, under the supervision of a gamemaster-type figure, the referee.


While all anime-style battling (ASB) descended from a scant few games played in 2000 on the original Universal Pokémon Network (UPN) forums on an ad-hoc basis, the way those games were played (several without even a referee) bear little resemblance to the ones played later. All later ASB leagues were variations on one of two systems: The TPM ASB system, created in 2000 by ditto_pokefreak, and the PASBL (Pokémon Anime Style Battling League) v2 system, created in 2001 by Archaic to replace the original PASBL system created by Ben the Pokemanic, and later modified by X-Rok. Of these two systems, the TPM one is perhaps the most widespread, though it is no longer used on any of the "Big Four" forums apart from The PokéMasters (TPM).

The Pokémon Anime Style Battling League (PASBL), after experiencing its golden age in 2001, when the BG PASBL on Bulbagarden boasted more active Trainers than the TPM ASB for most of the year, experienced a slow renewal after a long period of decline following the BG PASBL's death following the end of the original Bulbagarden league in late 2001/early 2002, a decline due largely to lack of refs, and infighting over leadership positions.

Successor to the original BG PASBL

Only two PASBLs (Pokémon Anime Style Battling Leagues) persisted, both of which claimed to be the one true successor to BG PASBL. Their rulesets were largely compatible, though significant differences existed in the area of battle styles (UPN/SPPf PASBL having totally abandoned the idea of Realistic style, and many of the ideas to do with injury), and in points systems (BG PASBL having a far more detailed level progression, but less restrictions on required levels to own specific, potentially game-breaking Pokémon).

The older of these, UPN/SPPf PASBL, had in some aspects the stronger claim, with a large proportion of the original BG PASBL Trainers having participated in it at some point, and also for having existed since shortly after the death of BG PASBL in one form or another. Going against its claim were its numerous resets of the league and match record tables (Something never done in BG PASBL, even when it was moved from its original home of UPN to Bulbagarden between 2000 and 2001), its abandonment by almost all of the original BG PASBL Trainers over the last few years, and its refusal to reopen a branch on its spiritual home on Bulbagarden following its resurrection.

The newer of these, calling itself BG PASBL, had going for it its use of the league and match record tables from the original BG PASBL, the simple fact of its location, and the fact that its League President was Archaic. Its rules could also be argued to be closer in many aspects to the spirit of the original BG PASBL rules with regards to arena damage, Pokémon injuries, and signature moves. This may be debatable with regards to signature rules, given the many outlandish sigs that existed in original BG PASBL, however the new sig rules, which moved away from such things, did seem to hold more true to the idea of signature moves when they were first instituted in ASB by Ben the Pokemanic and Archaic in original UPN PASBL. Going against its claim would be the fact that Archaic himself, along with Knobert (4th President of original BG PASBL, including the two presidents from before the move and the v2 rules) stood as a League Official and League President at times of UPN/SPPf PASBL, giving that league more legitimacy.


According to Archaic, there were eight "generations" (including 1 "missing generation") of PASBL, though the four generations put forth by Razor Raven was by far the most widespread view of PASBL history. Both are summarised below, along with names of prominent trainers who first joined during those periods.

"Official" (Archaic) Timeline

  • Oth Generation: Prior to organised leagues (Archaic, Farfetcher)
  • 1st Generation: Original UPN PASBL (Ben the Pokémanic, X-Rok, Pokémonger)
  • 2nd Generation: v2 rules & Original BG PASBL (Knobert, Mozz, Blastoise, Aipom)
  • 3rd Generation: Archaic hands over Presidency to Knobert; Slapstick Style is introduced (Murgatroyd, Yami Ron)
  • 4th Generation: Move back to UPN; original attempt at a branch on (As it was called then) SNf (Kuno, Razor Raven)
  • The Missing Generation: From Yami Ron being forced out of the presidency to when he took over the position again
  • 5th Generation: UPN PASBL expands to SPPf. BG PASBL is resurrected as a separate entity. Present Generation

"Alternate" (Razor Raven) Timeline

  • 1st Generation: From the invention of ASB (Archaic, Farfetcher, Ben the Pokémanic, X-Rok, Pokémonger)
  • 2nd Generation: v2 rules & Original BG PASBL (Knobert, Mozz, Blastoise, Aipom, Murgatroyd, Yami Ron)
  • 3rd Generation: Move back to UPN (Kuno, Razor Raven)
  • 4th Generation: Ron takes over as President of UPN PASBL; UPN PASBL expands to SPPf; BG PASBL is resurrected. Present Generation

The PokéMasters anime-style battling

The PokéMasters anime-style battling, or TPM ASB, was a system of anime-style battling based within The PokéMasters forum.


Inspired by the ad-hoc UPN ASB, ditto_pokefreak created a system of consistent and simple rules, bringing it to TPM while he was an anime forum moderator. After a few demonstration battles, the system of ASB quickly became extremely popular, and the first Board of ASB was created as the governing body. The directors of the board consisted of the first battlers and referees. Gym Leaders had been renewed with four new Gym Leaders, though selecting the Gym Leaders hadn't yet finished.

After some dispute over the League's activity in the anime forum, ASB was given a forum of its own. ditto_pokefreak introduced the idea of Towers, that existed for some time. The Tower were the central threads that each handled important issues like refereeing and Pokémon approval.

The PASB grew to be a thriving community with around 40 members. It was the most popular forum in the entire PokeMasters Forum and continued to grow with Tournaments, Contests, and a whole range of battlers.

After its initial success, ASB continued to evolve and grow. Many new rules were eventually added, including rules governing economy and the creation of additional Towers and appointed positions. ASB would go through many changes as well as upheavals, but was home to many Trainers at The PokéMasters.

Original rules

As of July 2009:

  1. New Trainers picked four Pokémon at the basic level, with no legendary Pokémon, which are approved at a Tower.
  2. Signatures are not in use for the time being
  3. Each battle consists of two Trainers and one referee who posts the outcomes of the battle. There may be more Trainers if it is a Double Battle or a 1 VS 1 VS 1
  4. Each Trainer is allowed to issue three commands each round of battle.
  5. The winner will obtain points which will be double of the loser and equal to the ref. The Pokémon that participated will gain experience meaning they can evolve when paid for in the bank.

Pokémon Anime Style Battling Leagues

Bulbagarden Pokémon Anime Style Battling League

The Bulbagarden Pokémon Anime Style Battling League, or BG PASBL, originated on the original Universal Pokémon Network forums in 2000.

The first anime-style battling association, BG PASBL was not initially popular when it first began, but was very active. The league had several unique features, including the concept of signature moves. These were special custom moves unique to each Pokémon owned by each Trainer. The league remained on UPN until the site went down in late 2000. Soon afterwards, PASBL found a new home at Bulbagarden.

While at Bulbagarden, many of the rules were rewritten. This resulted in several changes, including injuries, the ten-level system, league officials, and official referees. Additionally, Generation II Pokémon became allowed.

BG PASBL attack essay

Bulbagarden Archives has an item related to this article:

What constitutes an attack was an essay written during the golden age of BG PASBL in 2001. While it eventually became outdated, thus no longer being considered as an "official" part of the rules, it was still worth a read by aspiring referees. A new version of this essay was expected, to update it with certain changes in the new BG PASBL rules set.

Pokémon Fan Universe Anime Style Battling League

The Pokémon Fan Universe Anime Style Battling League, or PFUASBL, was an anime-style battling league associated with Pokémon Fan Universe.

In late June 2003, Pokémon Fan Universe established its ASB with the help of members of the TPM ASB who were upset over its state and the changes being made to it. It was also established because the webmaster of Pokémon Fan Universe was trying to fill in the void The PokéMasters created when it collapsed in late 2001.

The battle system of PFUASBL was created with heavy influence from TPM's system, including the ASB Central and Tournament Forums for organizational purposes, as well as the general battle engine.

The first participants in PFUASBL were Deck Knight (known as the Knight of Deckness) and Moltrecuno, who oversaw the start of PFUASBL and put all the initial elements in place to create a workable PFUASB.

A few staple players were added into the fold, and would prove invaluable to PFUASBL's continued existence, not least of which was Sleepy Wombat, who took over in Deck Knight and Moltrecuno's absences.

However, with the departure of many senior members, Sleepy Wombat and The Knight of Deckness included, PFUASB suffered, and it gradually declined in popularity; there was a three-month period at the start of 2008 where only one battle took place. However, after this period PFUASB experienced a resurgence in popularity, led by co-admin Jax Malcolm.

In the early autumn 2008, the PFUASBL suffered a drastic drop of Trainers and referees due to a numerous of members leaving because of conflicts within the board's staff. Some of the older members tried to take the league with them by removing the contents of the topics. However, the lead administrator, Shining Arcanine, restored the topics and temporarily banned the older members from the league. With all the previous moderators and experienced players gone Shining Arcanine had to promote the best possible members to moderators to resurrect the league. As it was decided the league was to be built on new basis instead of using the old one, the two new moderators, Elbub and Necromancy, rewrote most of the rules and were close to finishing the rebuild of the league. However, the league never fully recovered in its activity.

Before the end of November 2008, the newly signed and last remaining moderator for the ASB, Elbub, removed the important ASB topics, and the league was left to die; by this time the ASB's total activity had dropped completely. Pokémon Fan Universe was shut down in December 2008, and it PFUASBL remains only in memory.

The PFUASBL was the last remaining league that offered a variation of the old TPM battle system, with the basic rules of starting with six lowest-stage Pokémon (barring legendaries), and one signature move per Pokémon.

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