I have been watching more of the anime recently, and am beginning to see the difference. Unova battles do seem really bland. Especially compared to in Sinnoh, where the battles seem exquisite! I have to wonder how they could so drastically change the style between periods. It's almost impossible to compare them they're so different.
I saw the Unova League battles on YouTube when Ash battles against Stephen and Cameron and they seem quite bland compared to Sinnoh, Kanto, and Johto Leagues. I enjoyed the rivalries between Ash and Gary/Paul.
I felt Paul handled defeat exceptionally against Ash during the Sinnoh League. The scene when Paul says "thank you" to Electravire in appreciation of his efforts despite being defeated by Infernape was a dignified resolution of the rivalry between them, and perhaps just as good as the battles between them. Paul behavior after battle illustrated his maturity and development of his capacity to sympathize with his Pokemon. Ash's battle against Tobias, an insurmountable juggernaut, demonstrated the valor and tenacity of Ash and his Pokemon.
The battle against Charizard and Blastoise was certainly epic ... I don't know how Unova battles could compare to that.
Three Years and Four Months since my last visit here!