Anime-style battling, or ASB, is a game run on a number of major Pokémon forums, including UPNetwork forums, which involves 2 or more players, called Trainers, having a roleplay battle in the vein of the anime, under the supervision of a gamemaster-type figure, the referee.
While all ASB decend 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 currently. All ASB leagues currently are variations on one of two systems. The TPM ASB system, created in 2000 by ditto_pokefreak, and the PASBL 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 TPM.
PASBL, having experienced its golden age in 2001, when the BG PASBL on Bulbagarden boasted more active trainers than the TPM ASB for most of the year, has recently begun a slow renewal after a long period of decline following the BG PASBL's death following the death of the original Bulbagarden in late 2001/early 2002, a decline due largely to lack of refs, and infighting over leadership positions.
Only two PASBLs currently exist, both of which claim to be the one true successor to BG PASBL. Their rulesets are largely compatible, though significant differences exist 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 gamebreaking Pokémon).
The older of these, UPN/SPPf PASBL, has 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 the simple point of having existed since shortly after the death of BG PASBL in one form or another.
Going against its claim are 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 BG between 2000 and 2001), its abandonment by almost all of the original BG PASBL trainers over the past 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, has 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 is none other than Archaic himself.
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 move away from such things, do 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.
"Officially" (ie. according to Archaic), there have been 8 "generations" (including 1 "missing generation") of PASBL, though the 4 generations put forth by Razor Raven is 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.
- 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
- 6th Generation: BG PASBL is resurrected. 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