Pokémon are marvelous creatures that come in a variety of types and sizes, with abilities, powers, and personalities as diverse as they are numerous. Doctor Yukinari Ookido has dedicated his life to studying these fascinating beings, that can be caught, trained, traded, and battled against each other. There's only so much he can do from his lab though. With this in mind, Ookido entrusts two young boys with a Pokémon of their own and a computerized encyclopedia to catalog them. One of them, Green, is brash, passionate, slightly arrogant, and Doctor Ookido's own nephew. The other boy, Red, is equally passionate, and filled with a wide-eyed, mildly naive sense of wonder.
Pokémon: The Origin follows Red in his journey through the region of Kanto in his attempt to complete his "Pokédex" by capturing and cataloging all the Pokémon that exist. Along the way he'll discover there's more to himself and his goals than he originally thought. Red will have to put both himself and his Pokémon to the test in special Gyms whose leaders are steps along the way to the Pokémon League, in order to challenge the Elite Four and become a Pokémon League Champion.
Aside from his goals to become a Champion, Red has other problems brewing. There are others who capture and train Pokémon for more sinister reasons, with the infamous criminal organization Team Rocket being one of them. If Red can defeat them, fellow trainers, his rival Green, and wild Pokémon all through Kanto, he just may fulfill his own dream, and Doctor Ookido's as well.
The Pokemon anime series is something i droped for many years, basically is just the same formula but a different region with new Pokémon and so on.
I came back just for one reason. I played the original game in a Game Boy when I was 10, and since then i followed the games, maybe for someone the games are like i just said about the anime "the same formula but a different region with new Pokémon" but i think the games, in fact, are more fun and engaging.
Now, back to the animation... I love it.
It takes the most memorables moments of the original game like the Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town,maybe it will jump many of your personal favorite moments, but the ones you really know, they are here. For only 4 episodes it was pretty good and awesome. 8/10
The characters are just like in the game like our cocky-hated rival Green or our greedy Giovanny, a copycat form the game, and that is GOOD 8/10
The music, an orchestrated tunes form the classic tracks from the game. Sure they are many, but I wish it had been more. 9/10
The art is not bat at all, acutually is pretty awesome but i think they could do it much better, like the Pokemon Movies.
Is something between a regular episode and a movie 7/10
It's a love letter to the first games (with a little wink to the next Nintendo 3DS relased) I recomend to any fan of Pokémon, more if you are more in the Games rather the anime and I enjoyed a lot 10/10
It's gets a 8,4/10 + 0,6 for nostalgia.
The OVA promised to follow the story of the original Pokemon Red and besides adding a mega-evolution for Charizard at the end, it pretty much did exactly that. Our hero is named Red instead of Ash and he actually captures all the Pokemon. He doesn't randomly release his best fighters, he actually wins his gym battles without cheating, the Pokemon actually use real moves and not bullshit like "dodge", and he actually dismantles the Team Rocket Organization. So this is WAY better than the original Pokemon anime right?....right? The problem is that Pokemon wasn't a game that sold so well because of the amazing plot and characters. Games like the Final Fantasy games, Metal Gear series, Mass Effect, all sold copies primarily based on their interesting stories and characters. Pokemon sold games based on excellent gameplay, game mechanics, and addictive/competitive nature. Red says his goal is to "complete the Pokedex" rather than being the strongest trainer like Ash wanted. However, we never see any strong motive for Red's desire. He isn't a scientist trying to collect all the Pokemon to study them. The Pokemon seem to be literally stored as data in the PC rather than living on Oak's ranch, so he certainly isn't making friends. In fact that seems pretty damn cruel when you think about it. Red doesn't really have any character traits that make him interesting or give him depth. Green is just as bland. He doesn't have a squad of cheerleaders like Gary and while still a dick, isn't the same epic caliber douche that we all love to hate. The Gym Leaders aren't nearly as memorable and I actually started to miss the goofy Team Rocket trio because this Team Rocket was so boring. Pokemon Red's plot worked fine as a game, but had ZERO business being adapted into an anime.
The art was actually pretty good. I guess if there was a single thing that justified this anime's existence, it would be the art and getting to see pokemon battles with vastly superior animation to the original series. Of course, I haven't watched the main Pokemon anime since about 2001, so maybe the animation for the main series is just as good at this point.
The music is actually the music from the original game. That was a nice touch, but the original Pokemon anime had a soundtrack that I actually thought surpassed the game's soundtrack.
"Pokemon: The Origin" is in the running for the most needless and pointless anime ever made. I've only seen a few other anime like "Eva: Death and Rebirth" that filled me with such a strong desire to scream: "why was this shit even made?!" I know it was made for the quick and easy money, but surely there must be a better way to both make money and please the massive Pokemon fanbase than this!read more
Nostalgia can be a detriment to looking at something through a critical lens. Fond memories can blur your judgment concerning the quality of a work of fiction, especially if it's something you grew up on. This is the pit-trap waiting for the generation of anime fans who grew up in the 90's watching and playing Pokémon in this four episode special. Pokémon Origins retells memorable events of the first two Pokémon games in animated form. No doubt it will bring forth warm fuzzy memories of popping Pokémon in your Gameboy for the first time, but once put under a critical light, the special bares questionable results at best.
Origins chronicles the adventures of Red, named after one of the first two games, on his quest to become a skilled Pokémon trainer and complete Professor Oak's Pokédex. His adventure covers the entirety of the first Pokémon games, which means sticking to the original 150 Pokémon (for the most part). It also means condensing an entire games worth of content into only four 20-or-so minute episodes. The show deals with this by having narration that lists off events that happened presumably in the time between episodes. This, of course, is a textbook example of weak writing, not to mention it breaks the cardinal rule of ‘show, don’t tell’. The story is not being told to us as much as it is being spoon-fed to us. Certainly, the events will elicit major nostalgia for anyone who has played the games, however, that alone is not a sign of good writing. In fact, the storytelling here relies almost solely on nostalgia. Since large chunks of Red’s adventure are told though narration, it doesn’t feel like the audience is on the journey with him. We are told about the wonderful world of Pokémon, but we’re never allowed to explore it with Red. This results in difficulty actually being invested in Red’s adventure, outside of our own nostalgia of the game.
Not helping the matters is that none of the characters develop in a natural progression. We see Red become a master Pokémon trainer, but we never experience it. This is, again, because most if his adventure is narrated, which makes it more expository than experiential. It becomes difficult to gauge his growth as a trainer and a person, and summarizes what should have been shown as hard earned experience. He does have a distinct character arc that is easy to map out, but it just isn’t explored particularly well. Of course, Red is the central character and as a result the most developed, which doesn’t bode well for any of the other characters. Blue/Green (depending on what language you’re watching) is Red’s rival, and he’s given enough personality to not be one-note, particularly with his sometimes friendly sometimes antagonistic relationship with Red. However, he’s ultimately there to be a rival that Red can play off, and he doesn’t develop too much beyond that. Likewise, most of the characters feel kind of like stepping stones for Red as he develops into a better trainer; pretty much all of them are there to either teach Red a lesson or antagonize him into action. Needless to say, any character development for them is light or rushed. Team Rocket leader Giovanni’s sudden change of heart might have been an affecting moment if we actually got to know him first. Instead, we get his backstory in a few minutes during his battle with Red.
With all this said, it must be asked: is Pokémon Origins a failure? Well, no. Not really. This is a project that was clearly banking on the nostalgia of its viewership, and love for the franchise. In a way, it’s almost a reward for their devotion. It’s kind of a walk down memory lane for anyone who grew up with the games and the TV show. Watching Red travel, train, and battle reminds us of all the hours we put into beating the game and completing the Pokédex. We’re treated to game menu screens being incorporated into the show, fully animated re-enactments of scenes and battles, and nostalgia inducing iconic soundtrack. The animation is also much better compared to that of the TV series, perhaps even better than some of the movies. The boost in budget compliments the creative and varied Pokémon designs quite well, some Pokémon look better than ever. Battles are done with an abundance of energy, and while sometimes short and predictable, they are entertaining and often more violent than those of the TV show.
Nostalgia is nice, but it is no substitute for good storytelling. This is most certainly the problem with Pokémon Origins. The story being told is far too big to effectively be told in just four episodes, the world too expansive. This results in the massive amount of exposition, heavy narration, and unnatural pacing that plagues Origins. It might bring forth pleasant memories of your early gaming years, but doesn’t succeed in telling its story through the visual medium, instead relying on your own fond nostalgia. When it comes down to it, you might as well just play the games again instead, it’s a much more rewarding experience. read more
It's important to remember that when reviewing any topic, one should keep their personal bias to a very low minimum. This is especially difficult when dealing with a monster type franchise such as the Pokemon series, as most, if not all, people have been exposed to either the Pokemon series or games at some point in their lives. To the degree that this affects their opinion of the franchise is what ultimately will decide the fate of the future of the series. Keeping this point in mind, when it was announced earlier this summer/fall that a new anime would be produced that would follow the storyline of the original Pokemon games, it was safe to say that a few people were excited. They were promised a look back at what revolutionized a franchise in the form of a four-episode special. What it was willing to accomplish in those four episodes is the most debatable topic of all.
Once again, when reviewing one is recommended that they put their personal bias to a very low minimum. Keeping this in mind, I viewed this four-episode special through the mind of someone who has no prior knowledge of the Pokemon series or games. I watched Pokemon: The Origin as if I was playing the first game for the first time through the perspective of the main character. From what was gathered, the story begins with a character named Red, who is passionate about catching and training creatures known as Pokemon. He, along with his rival, Green, is tasked with collecting every species of Pokemon known to that world by the town's local Pokemon professor: Professor Oak. With his goal set in stone, Red sets out to catch 'em all.
With only four episodes to work with, there is a guarantee that not everything from the game will be shown in the series. To someone who has no prior knowledge of the game, these time skips do more justice as a form of confusion than anything else. Along with this, the special only chooses to show certain scenes from the game, with some scenes being obvious to the hardcore fan, while random to about everyone else. Due to this, each episode not completely focused on the goal of collecting every pokemon possible or advancing that plot accordingly is viewed more as a filler episode. To those not aware of the Pokemon games, they will also notice a variety of plotholes within the special that don't make sense unless you've played the game. One such thing is the absence of police or the logic behind sending a child out to collect potentially dangerous creatures in order to satisfy the wish of a man no one knows anything about. Without these security blankets, viewers won't know how to interpret the impact of certain scenes and their importance to the series. These gaping plotholes and the lack of any character development is prevalent and noticeable throughout the entirety of this special.
Speaking of character development, it wouldn't seem too far fetched to think that the special would focus a little time on developing the main character, Red, as he's on screen roughly 85% of the time, whether in recaps or otherwise. With the entire series being based on this one character, it's hard to really enjoy any other character that's introduced during the time span, that is, unless you're a fan of the series. I'm sensing a pattern here. The only other character that gets any amount of focus in more than one episode is Green, and even he doesn't develop into anything more than the rival character. The issue with the lack of depth can be solely attributed to the lack of time and the length of the individual pokemon battles. Whether in recaps or actual battle, Red is shown fighting other character's pokemon a big chunk of the time that this special has to offer. It does take the liberty to offer some insight on how Red develops as a trainer through his struggles with certain opponents, and the views he shares when facing someone with far different beliefs. Unfortunately, this is the most that the special is willing to offer.
What would be an appropriate way to animate a series trying to showcase nostalgic elements? Why, with save screens and in-game text, of course. At the beginning and end of each episode, the viewer is shown a small snippet of animation that plays to the feelings of those who played the original games. Before each episode, one has to load up the save file in order to continue their adventure, and when they're finished, they have to save their progress. These in-game pop-ups serve as a reminder of how important it is to save the game, what it matters to the quality of the animation is not exceedingly accurate. The recaps that I've mentioned before are also reminiscent of the original games as a small text box will appear at the bottom of the screen, explaining the situation that is being spoken of to us by Red. In terms of the animation of the series in general, it's appropriate, to say the least. It's not the most spectacular animation one will see from animators of the 21st century, but it's enough to satisfy both fans and newcomers alike. The battles are vivid and well-detailed, granted the viewer isn't stricken with how dull the humans look in comparison to the pokemon. Such is only expected from those who know the series.
Taking everything into consideration, if one is a fan of the pokemon series, this special will probably hold a special place in their heart. It's respectful to its source material (until the end) and the character Ash Ketchum, who plays the main role of the original Pokemon series, is nowhere in sight. Seeing as I am a fan of the Pokemon series, it was enjoyable to view from a fan's perspective, but that doesn't erase the numerous problems that are hidden behind the spontaneous animation. Some of these problems are excusable due to the time restraints that a series has with only four episodes, but there have been series that have done more with less, and to excuse something as enormous as Pokemon from doing anything less than possible puts it in hot water with those unfamiliar with the series. Everything else considered, this is the perfect treat for fans of the original games, but its purely restricted to that group in particular.read more