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Adjusted this previous reference to Johto:
The fact that The Whirlpool Tournament Arc also took place smack dab in the center of quest also threw off the pacing.
Actually, the Whirl Islands arcs were only about as long as it took to get a badge under normal circumstances. Here's the list in Johto.
So, if anything, it's the Filler Arc immediately before the Whirl Islands that invoked Seasonal Rot. (Though the period before with all of the Special Guests turned out to be the harbinger that such arcs usually are.)
The alternate argument, which is entirely valid, is that there were just too many episodes in general and that the series could've been better served by having Misty have her own Badge Quest between Johto and Hoenn (with or without Ash). Of course, some (myself included) strongly prefer a Filler Arc focused on Misty (which, granted accounted for only half,) to an arc of Filler Stand-Alones with no focus; and I would say the same for an Arc based on Brock.
EDIT: I shall also grant that the order that the writers put the events helps the Arc's case: Had the writers put the Whirl Islands arc before the Storm Badge, I would already have made mention of it. But at least they had some wit left to them which allowed them to see that 40 episodes between badges was not a good idea (and at that point could have killed the series).
EDIT 2: The actual Tournament was only 3 Episodes anyway, and I doubt that they would have let Lugia's connection to the islands go. Also, I only see 2 episodes from the long Fog-to-Storm arc that would be obvious fits for the Whirl Islands, though with some of the actual filler put in that arc between the Tournament and Lugia, I could see about 2-3 more that could fit... The problem is that you'd have to put some of those episodes on the Outbound (to Cianwood) trip, lengthening the already long gap from Fog to Storm. So all that would've happened would be some reshuffling, cutting the Storm-to-Mineral episode count down to about 8, but bumping the Fog-to-Storm count up to probably 33! Definitely Top 3 and could even be #2!
Does this happen in Eight Bit Theater, or are ALL the story arcs just that long to begin with?
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