I command you to kick ass!
After wrapping up Suikoden V, I also realized that the random battles really had nothing to do with the game. If you took them all out, the game wouldn't miss a beat.
See, back in the days, when we played Dragon Warrior, the battle system was the game. You went on an adventure, beat up some monsters, got fantastic new items and were able to explore even more. That was the reason why we played, and the battles had everything to do with the game. Same thing with Final Fantasy. Did we really care about breaking the time loop of Chaos and Garland, or did we just wanna get more stuff and fight cool bad guys? The concept of experience itself was one of the main drivers of RPG gameplay, and it was cool how you could power yourself up--but now, that element is in a lot of games now.
As JRPGs are becoming more and more story-driven and less about exploration, battles are becoming much less necessary since they usually have nothing to do with the story. It's more like a side-game to the actual game: here's some story, then have some fun beating up monsters in battles, then back to the story.
Not all JRPGs are like this. I can name the Dragon Quest series of course, but I can also include Persona, where it's actually part of the game. But when a lot of top tier titles just throw battles in because it's expected for the genre, it makes me wonder why they're even in the game.