Did you find any moves in the anime surprising in how they were animated?
Some moves like Stone Edge and Hydro Cannon seem incredibly underwhelming when moves with the same power like Frenzy Plant look incredibly powerful, and some moves such as Whirlpool and Fire Spin look lethal when in reality they're very weak moves. As for moves like Sandstorm, these are often used to just create a tornado of sand rather than change the weather (doesn't apply to all weather moves :p), which again I found disappointing. It's entirely possible that this is just because the in-game mechanics of moves are completely unrelated to those in the anime, but it still seems odd to me how some of these moves worked. Thoughts?
I kind of like the anime's twist on how strong some moves are. It gives them an interesting spin when in a different environment. In most cases, the situation is more realistic. Yeah, Fire Spin isn't particularly strong but can trap opponents, and if you visualize that, it makes sense that it would literally trap Pokemon inside. When you combine that thought with the fact that it's the anime and literally anything can happen, then more interesting battle scenes pop up while there are more strategies involved that relate to the physical portion, such as Pokemon size and the battlefield. If they were the same as the games, I'd be pretty damn disappointed, to be honest. Some moves even seem to progress in power, like Ash's Bulbasaur when he used Razor Leaf. Compare the blades (or literally leaves) in the first season to Ash's Bayleef you can see the variation.
The anime focuses more on how moves are used rather than how strong they are. For example, Ash's Torterra using Rock Climb (clearly a strong move) against Paul's Drapion did jack-**** when it attacked. However, I do find the annoyance in that Water Gun can somehow fend off Flamethrowers so readily, although the main logic behind it would be that it can extinguish flames rather than fending it off.
I'm going to strongly agree on Water Gun. We all know water beats fire,but how puny of a move it is in the game,how can it possibly completely extinguish a huge flamethrower? Then there's fire spin,that thing in the anime looks deadly,but in the games it's just a weak move that traps you for a few turns and whittles only a tiny inch of HP.
To be honest,Flint's Infernape made Mach Punch look godly,when really all it was was a fighting move where you struck first. Last is quick attack,it only has 40 power but Ash's Pikachu made it look way too powerful.