Best Wishes is now officially 1 year old in Japan, so Iris and Cilan have been around for nearly 60 episodes already. Why do you think they were chosen to be Ash's travel companions this time around, and how do you feel about them? Originally they seemed to be clones of Misty and Brock, given they were both Gym leaders and had similar roles and personalities as each other. However now Iris and Cilan are being developed and feel very distinct. They're both being handled much better in terms of screentime an development than Misty/Brock, and they even have their own rivals and are more engaged in the storyline. I feel as if Iris and Cilan were brought into the anime to give this series a unique fresh start. The DP trio didn't really work as a group and Dawn and Brock had absolutely zero chemistry, so to avoid that mistake again they brought in two new characters that work well together. There is no doubt in my mind Iris and Cilan will leave once the 5th gen ends, like every character before them, but I feel as if for the first time in a while, Ash's travel companions actually have chemistry and character interaction. They're also "better handled" versions of Misty and Brock, given the writers have learned not to make the same mistakes a second time around.