Satoshi and Pikachu have arrived in Miare City of the illustrious Kalos region to capture more Pokemon and continue their journey towards becoming the very best. Meanwhile, a genius inventor named Citron and his little sister Eureka wander the city when they run into Satoshi who quickly challenges them to a battle. However, they are soon caught up in a dangerous incident when Team Rocket, following Satoshi into Kalos, cause a Gaburias to rampage through the city.
Far away in the quiet Asame Town, a young girl named Serena slogs through daily Sihorn riding practice at the behest of her mother, a professional Sihorn racer. After practice, she sees the events unfolding in Miare City on television where she recognizes a boy from her childhood. Having left a significant impact on her life, the sight of him stirs in her a desire to meet him again; and so, Serena sets off to Miare City, determined to find the boy from her past.
Pokemon XY follows the group as they travel throughout Kalos in pursuit of their ambitions—Satoshi challenging Pokemon gyms, Citron learning from Satoshi, and Serena searching for what exactly her dream is. Along the way, they meet new friends, face new rivals, and continue to thwart Team Rocket's schemes, all the while discovering a little about the mysteries of mega evolution.
#1: "The X Strait and the Y Scenery (Ｘ海峡Ｙ景色)" by J☆Dee'Z (eps 1-27) #2: "Peace Smile!(ピースマイル)" by J☆Dee'Z (eps 28-46) #3: "DoriDori (ドリドリ)" by Shoko Nakagawa (eps 47-67) #4: "Gaogao All Stars (ガオガオ・オールスター)" by Little Glee Monster (eps 68-93)
Pokemon XY turned out to be a really worthy entry for Pokemon fans, old or new to sit down, relax and enjoy.
STORY: 5/10 Mediocre
Don't expect much story from Pokemon, for it is still a show that is primarily directed towards kids. You will still see the power of friendship, teamwork, trust and love swirling around every episode, so the basic formula did not change from the old Pokemon series.
In Pokemon XY we follow Ash in his endeavor to beat all eight gyms to challenge the Kalos league, Serena in her conquest to obtain three princess keys by
winning the Pokemon Showcases in order to be granted the right to challenge for the Kalos Queen title, Clemont in his journey to learn more about the world and broaden his knowledge as a gym leader, and finally Bonnie, generally serving as the cheerleader of the party.
The pacing is pretty uneven throughout the show, with Ash challenging the gyms at a crawling pace in the first half of the series, then him sweeping a number of them in the latter half. We see our human as well as Pokemon protagonists grow throughout the series, which is pretty satisfying.
ART: 10/10 Outstanding
Indeed, the art and animation of Pokemon XY is beautiful, that I was left dumbfounded and jaw dropped at the sight of the first episode. Granted, some characters look weird (for example Grant the Rock gym leader has hair resembling a crystallite), but most of the Pokemon designs in this generation could well be my very favourite, look at Scatterbug! It looked dull and boring in the official art, but in the anime itself it is one heck of an adorable creature. Look at Vivillion! It was majestic, almost unrivaled in its beauty.
I always loved looking at animated Pokemon Battles, they are exciting, and on top of that they looked gorgeous in this latest series. Heck, even the usual Team Rocket motto looked gorgeous! The Pokemon Showcases are truly a spectacle to watch.
I have nothing much but praise to the animation team, well done. This section alone makes Pokemon XY worth watching.
SOUND: 8/10 Very Good
You really can't go wrong with this part when it comes to Pokemon, as most of the voice cast are recurring from the previous generations, and the new voice actors did a good job voicing the new characters. The background music is often a delight to listen to as it is often the same song that plays in the game, which is sheer awesome.
For the OP and ED, my personal favorite are V (Volt) and DoriDori respectively, and they are often used as inserted songs throughout the series, the former often plays during Ash's gym battles, while the other during Serena's performance.
CHARACTERS: 7/10 Good
The old characters who made their return in this series did not change much, Ash is still brave and cares for his Pokemon as much as he did before, and is still a bit of an idiot at times. The Team Rocket Trio is still as cunning and 'evil' as ever and you can always expect them to blast off every episode they are featured in.
So the highlight should be the new companions that joined Ash on his journey. Serena is the childhood friend of Ash and the supposed crush of his in the series, she is also the cook of the group. Then, we need someone knowledgeable to provide us with all the info, and enter Clement, the gym leader of Lumiose City who will also humor us with his wide array of inventions, which will always blow up. Tagging along would be the imouto of Clement, Bonnie, who is the "awww cute" girl and she cares for Pokemon, a lot, well she's good for providing the needed cheerleading when Ash was battling.
In Pokemon, the centre of attention is not always to human characters, but the Pokemon themselves as well. Utilizing the Pokemon natures well, we get to see the many personalities of the Pokemon. Using Serena's as an example, her Fennekin is a Careful one, always cautious when stepping out as she's not one who likes to get dirty; Pancham is an Impish one, sometimes doing naughty things like stealing Ash's hat; Eevee... ah my personal favorite, is definitely a Timid one, so shy that she can cower and hide somewhere when a stranger approaches her.
Enjoyment: 7/10 Good
Pokemon XY will be a decent show to kill some time weekly, it is, without a doubt, eye candy, and for a Pokemon fan like myself, it can provide good and relaxing entertainment in a weekly basis.
The story did not end here, Ash hasn't won all the gyms, and Serena hasn't won all her princess keys. The 2nd season, XY&Z, judging from the trailer at the end of the show, promises more Mega Evolutions, more legendaries, and Team Flare will finally make their screen debut.
Saying this again, the graphics alone make Pokemon XY really worth it.
Yes, we're back to talking about Pokemon, a franchise so long running that there are adults who weren't born yet when it started. I was, but I'm old and crabby. Any way, I was asked to review this particular part of the anime. So, all of you get to read me ranting about all the aspects of this anime franchise that get on my nerves. Besides, with Sword and Shield coming out soon and eliminating the Megas, it seems a good time to talk about when Game Freak was super proud of that element.
We open with Satoshi travelling over to the Kalos region leaving Unova
and all the Pokemon he "befriended" there behind. He meets the siblings, Citron & Eureka, and begins his journey to beat all the Kalos gyms while catching new Pokemon he'll inevitably leave behind when he moves on to Alola. Unfortunately for him, Musashi, Kojirou & Meowth are still following him to steal his Pikachu.
I should note, the anime does not follow the game's mechanics as much as it makes nods to them. Which I can't really complain about. It would be even more boring if Pikachu had to dodge every attack because any hit would smash its frail defences and knock it the fuck out.
The biggest problem with the series is just that it's all very repetitive and formulaic. You can pretty much tell exactly what's going to happen in an episode the moment the scenario is introduced. Satoshi will even say he hasn't decided which gym to go to next after every gym match, even against the 7th gym when there's literally one option left.
In all fairness, the series can have a real sense of fun to it. And Team Rocket's goofy schemes can be entertaining even if we know every one is going to end with them getting blasted into the air and saying "this feels bad."
This is where the big problem in the series lies. The main characters are dull. Really, excruciatingly dull. Satoshi has no personality whatsoever. He's just vaguely amicable. Which is part of the problem with the franchise keeping the same protagonist from region to region. The dude can't learn any lessons without repeating old territory. He also can't develop as a character because every writer who works on the anime has a cemented image of him and what he's supposed to be. And it is hard to see him as having a real connection with his pokemon when he has a long history of saying goodbye to them at the slightest provocation.
Then there are his companions. Citron is a boring sciencey boy who makes machines that blow up and is vaguely nice. Eureka is an excitable child who thinks every Pokemon ever is cute. Even the shite ice cream cone no one likes. And tries to get her brother a bride whenever she thinks a woman is pretty. Serena is a girly girl with a crush on Satoshi because they met once in camp when they were all of eight.
The best characters are Musashi, Kojirou & Meowth. Just because they're allowed to be bad and revel in that but there's also a real attempt at making them sympathetic. Every member of the group gets some episode or other that showcases the better part of their nature. This also serves to make them more enjoyable than the main cast as well as more complex.
The artwork is fine. There are some pretty cool battles. The characters look fine. And the Pokemon look like their game counterparts. I don't really care for most of the 6th generation Pokemon personally, but that may be because I'm old and grumpy. You damn kids and your cotton candy pokemon and your slime dragons and your key rings and your pogs and your street sharks.
The acting is fine. Everyone is perfectly competent but most of the characters are so boring they don't have much in terms of complexity to convey. Which is why our best performances come from Hayashibara Megumi, Miki Shinichiro & Inuyama Inuko. The music is decent enough too. Not great but functional enough.
There are some moments with Serena and Sana. Eureka's obsession with pretty women also seems to be a strong indication that she won't be dating men when she gets older.
Areas of Improvement:
Ditch Satoshi as the main protagonist. Honestly, I think the Pokemon anime franchise would be a lot better if each region featured a new protagonist. You could get more complexity for the character without having to undermine their bond with their pokemon to show off the new region's creatures.
Have some surprises. I get it, this is a children's anime and they can't get too complex with it. But at least have some events that are mildly against the grain or that subvert expectations. Maybe even let the villains win in some minor way that isn't too bad for the heroes.
More personality for the protagonists. A big part of the issue with them is that the writers try to make them too squeaky clean good. Give them some real flaws to overcome that can lead to some interesting interactions. It would make the series a lot more interesting.
Pokemon XY isn't a bad series. However, it's not a good one either. It's like that last Pokemon film I reviewed. It's a mediocre series that's probably enjoyable enough for the target audience, but doesn't provide much for anyone older. Even slightly older like teenagers. I'll give it a 5/10.
Pokémon the Series: XY&Z Review (CONTAINS SPOILERS)
It's not every day, I get to write a Pokemon review. It's always bittersweet, having a new generation of Pokemon come to an end. In the games department, X and Y was absolutely revolutionary for the Pokemon franchise. As for the anime, well... we just came off of the Black and White anime, which is widely considered to be the worst of the Pokemon anime. So X and Y had a lot of fixing to do? Does it succeed? Well, let's talk about that.
First off, I don't know how they keep doing it, but the Pokemon anime just keeps
getting better and better, in terms of animation. That's undeniable. Right from the get go, the new art palette (teehee) is a huge step up from the already amazing looking Black and White (which is the only amazing thing about that season). Not only to the colors look improved, but Ash looks significantly older in this series. Of course he's still in 10 year old limbo, but we can at least pretend that he's aged over time, with this one. I get that they want to have a 10 year old protagonist so that the majority of the Pokemon anime audience can have a character that they can relate to, but I think it'd be even more impactful to have that protagonist grow up, along with its audience. While he may not be doing that in the age department, he definitely did that in the personality department.
So in Black and White, Ash had completely lost and and all knowledge and skill he ever had, throughout the entirety of Diamond and Pearl. And considering D&P has an INCREDIBLY smart and deep Ash in it, Black and White back peddled like nobody's business! So when X and Y roles around and introduces this new, more confident Ash, I was really impressed. This Ash is more confident, courageous, intelligent, and acts as a mentor to his traveling companions. Usually that honor belongs to the older male traveling companion. But Ash does a really good job with this role, while also continuing to have growth and struggles of his own. It's by far the best Ash Ketchum in the Pokemon anime, and I'm REALLY sad that the small bits of the Sun and Moon anime that I've seen so far seem to completely erase that personality and rewrite Ash from the ground up, once again. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see if that's entirely true.
Speaking of starting from the ground up, like always, Ash has an entirely new traveling party in this new region. And for the first time since the Hoenn generation, Ash is traveling in a party of FOUR this time, as opposed to three. First off, we have the female playable character in X and Y, Serena. Right from the beginning, Serena is a very interesting character. When we get to see her and personal life, she seems very atypical, compared to all the other female traveling companions that Ash has had, in the past. First off, she doesn't start off with any Pokemon, or even with any plans to get one and go on a journey. She's just a girl living at home, who doesn't seem to be really involved in anything related to Pokemon. But the reason she has for going on a journey is actually REALLY interesting. You immediately become interested in her story and hope to see it go somewhere that Pokemon has never really gone, before. Unfortunately, this big suspenseful journey gets wrapped up pretty quickly and anticlimactically. But that doesn't stop Serena from being an absolute joy to have on screen.
Serena reminds me a lot of Dawn, in which she's a character that continuously grows in both victory and failure. She has her victories like every main character always gets. But it's not always like that. A lot of her victories involve overcoming obstacles such as people and past events that tell her she's not good enough. And I'm not just talking about jerkish rivals. I'm talking about parents who paved a predetermined path for her. I'm talking about legends in the industry of her dreams that tell her she has no hope of succeeding, simply because the great classics that came before her already set the bar and nobody will ever be able to top it, simply because it isn't a classic. Not only that, she has a lot of times where she DOES fail and it breaks her up. Seeing her in those darker states is one of the more emotional things to witness in the Pokemon series. But what's even more powerful is seeing her recovery from those moments.
Serena goes through more growth and development in her journey than Ash was able to do in the first THREE generations of Pokemon! They didn't treat Serena like a side character. They made her important and an equal to Ash in the story. And not only does she look up to him for inspiration and admire him more than any other traveling companion in the past, but Ash also looks up to her, as well. We're always gonna have a soft spot in our hearts for Misty and I absolutely loved Dawn as a character in Diamond and Pearl. But I can easily say that Serena is the BEST female protagonist in the Pokemon anime's history!
And I'm happy to say that the great characters don't stop there! Ash's next traveling companion is the 5th gym leader in X and Y, Clemont. Who I constantly refer to as Clementine, because reasons. My favorite character in the Pokemon anime has always been Brock. He's both incredibly hilarious and he's also been such a great role model to the other members of the group. But throughout all the time we spent with Brock over the years, he never had a journey of growth in the anime. At least not one that was very prominent. The reason for that is because he didn't really ever need one. Being a well seasoned gym leader, he was incredibly smart and focused more on helping others, due to him kinda already having his life plan all figured out. But as soon as he discovered a desire to start something new, he went and did it, alone. So we never saw any of the struggles he may have had.
So now we switch over to Clemont, who is a gym leader just like Brock and also INCREDIBLY intelligent. But he isn't nearly as confident in where his life is headed and finds the desire to go on a journey to develop his skills and expand his horizons. And he gets that ambition from meeting Ash. Being a gym leader makes Ash look up to him, but Clemont returns those exact feelings in this random trainer that he just met. So they end up traveling together with a promise to help one another in improving themselves. Just like Serena, this made Clemont a lot more enjoyable to watch, since we get to see him grow, as opposed to just being the voice of reason. And while I still say Brock will always be my favorite, I can say that Clemont is the BEST male traveling companion that Ash has ever had. While his journey isn't as grand as Serena's, we still see a lot of growth that we've never seen in any male traveling companion before him.
Something I'm really glad about is that he wasn't as super nerdy as I initially thought he was gonna be. Ya, he's a sciencey inventor type of guy, but he's not really nerdy about it. The only thing I really didn't like is that his new inventions that got introduced almost every episode ALWAYS came with an overly detailed explanation on what they did and how they worked. And they were always followed up with Ash saying "WOW! SCIENCE IS SO AMAZING!" It was like having 2 Team Rocket mottos in every episode, and it just took up too much time, on top of it being super cheesy and not nearly as cool as the Team Rocket motto. But still, he has a ton of kick butt, awesome moments that make him seem really cool and not at all like your typical nerd trope. I also like how he's the first of Ash's traveling companions to actually get tired from all that walking and running around that they always do. I mean seriously! Ash and company have traveled the world by foot for over 20 years, and we JUST NOW get a character whose like "I'm too old for this!" Granted, it's probably cuz he's always lugging around a giant metal backpack, but still. It was a funny addition to his character.
Now like I said, this generation of the anime actually had FOUR traveling companions! The final member of Ash's group is Clemont's younger sister, Bonnie. Right off the bat, you're reminded of Max from the Hoenn anime. I actually like Max a lot more than most people do. I found him more interesting than May and he's also the main focus of my favorite episode in the entire Pokemon anime, "Do I Hear A Ralts?". So I was actually really excited to see another younger, non-trainer character join Ash's group. Bonnie is both absolutely hilarious and extremely adorable. At first, she does seem a bit much, with how she thinks every single Pokemon is "SOOOO CUUUUTE!". But she plays off of Clemont really well and has a lot of cute moments, herself. One thing she does is that she tends to go to every attractive girl she sees and asks them to "Take care of" her brother. Which then results in Clemont pulling her away, super embarrassed. Obviously this is just a re-skin of the Brock gag that we all know and some of us love. While it's not as funny as watching Brock's ear getting ripped off or getting poisoned to death but miraculously recovering from it, it's still funny to see.
Bonnie actually plays a really important role in the anime, despite not being a trainer and thus not really being able to start a journey of her own, yet. She has a lot of episodes centered around her that range from cute to funny to "OH MY GOD IT'S SO SAD!!!!! ESPURR WHY!?!?!?!?!?" She gets even more important in the show's second half, known as XY&Z. First off, as if the jump from Black and White to X and Y wasn't impress enough, in terms of animation, the animation jump from XY to XY&Z is EVEN MORE mindblowingly amazing! Honestly, the episodes in XY&Z look up to par with the Pokemon MOVIES! And I don't mean the old ones, I mean the ones getting released right now! Seriously, this show is stinkin gorgeous and deserves respect for not only seeing how far the Pokemon anime has come, but also for simply being one of the best looking anime I've seen.
But ya. Back to Bonnie. In XY&Z, we find a mysterious, unknown Pokemon. Bonnie takes it upon herself to take care of it and give it the name "Squishy". Now Squishy actually plays a very important role in the show's story. But honestly, having a name like Squishy makes it VERY hard for me to take a lot of those intense moments at the end of the show very seriously. Regardless, Bonnie is thankfully never pushed to the side or treated too much as a mascot character. She plays a very important role and she's an absolute joy to watch. All 4 of the main human characters play off of each other so well. I can easily say that this is my favorite group of human characters in any Pokemon anime generation. They were all fantastic and I very much enjoyed going on a journey with each and every one of them.
And of course, Team Rocket. Unfortunately, they don't get NEARLY as much screen time and emotional episodes all to themselves as they did in Diamond and Pearl, but they still had a ton of great moments and were 1000 times better than they were in Black and White. As for the Pokemon characters... again, Diamond and Pearl has this show beat. Those of you who have seen Diamond and Pearl will probably understand and agree with me when saying that they had the BEST Pokemon characters in the history of the show. X and Y had some Pokemon that stood out more than others, but Diamond and Pearl made EVERY Pokemon important and likable. This show did not. Probably the most prominent one is Ash's Greninja. They tried REALLY hard to make Greninja the next Charizard. They REALLY wanted you to like this Pokemon. Did they succeed? Well... sort of? Greninja actually does a lot to make Ash more likable, as weird as that sounds. It's sorta hard to explain it all briefly, but you'll understand when you see the show for yourself, how Greninja makes Ash more involved in battles, as well as more deep of a character.
The music is classic Pokemon style. It's good, but nothing super memorable. The 3 opening theme songs are all great, however. The 1st one is just a remix of the original theme song that we all know and love, so that may turn some people on, right off the bat. The other 2 are really good and also really different, compared to the theme the past couple of openings seemed to have. I just REALLY wish they made the english openings longer than 30 seconds. I mean, come on! Kids aren't THAT impatient! Especially at 8:00 in the morning. I promise you! Now, like every generation of Pokemon, there's a butt load of cash cow movies, trailing behind it. X and Y has 3 movies attached to it, which I'll go over very briefly. The Diancie movie has an ending that'll probably scare some kids who are new to Pokemon. But if you've seen the first Pokemon movie, you know EXACTLY how the "BIG PROBLEM" at the end of this movie is going to get resolved. All in all, not worth the watch. The second movie stars Hoopa, who is one of the most annoying talking legendaries in Pokemon movie history. Not nearly as bad as Keldeo, thankfully. But still incredibly annoying to where I'll tell you to avoid this movie, simply because Hoopa is in it.
The last movie stars both Volcanion and Magearna, and I gotta be honest. This is the first Pokemon movie in OVER A DECADE that I can actually say wasn't absolutely terrible! It's still not as great as the oldies, but it was ACTUALLY fun to watch, which is something I can't say about any other Pokemon movie that was released within the past 10 years! Magearna is the best part of this movie. It's just a really cool Pokemon to look at. This movie made me love a legendary I probably never would've cared about, otherwise. They had moments that made me happy and sad, as well as whimsical and entranced in their story and just overall design. I would seriously recommend watching this movie just to see Magearna. This movie won't blow you away in the story department, but it's got SOMETHING, at least. So that alone is worth the watch, when compared to the past 10 years of shovelware Pokemon movies.
Back to the anime, the XY&Z portion of the show is sort of a movie, itself. I may just think that because of how deep these characters are, but the final episodes at the Pokemon League, onward are actually really intense. Now, I'm gonna start talking about the outcome of the Pokemon League and what happens after that. So if you don't wanna be spoiled, I'd recommend skipping to the final paragraph. So with all the growing Ash had in this journey, and with these specific Pokemon on his team being SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful than teams he's had in the past. I truly believed that this would finally be the generation that has Ash win the Pokemon League! I thought it was finally time! However, he had some tough competition. There's this SUPER FRIENDLY rival of his named Sawyer, who is honestly one of the more annoying characters in this show (and voiced by Pikachu in the Japanese version). And there's also a character named Alain. Alain actually has his own series of spin off episodes that got released throughout the X and Y anime. I won't spoil what they're about, but it's pretty interesting stuff and gives you an idea of what a Pokemon anime without Ash would be like. Honestly, it was cool. And as much as I liked Ash in X and Y, I wouldn't mind seeing the world of Pokemon through someone else's eyes.
But throughout that side series, you see that Alain is a ridiculously powerful trainer. He eventually meets Ash in XY&Z and the two of them become friends and wish to battle each other in the Pokemon League. Ash gets his wish when he goes up against Alain in the FINALS! This is the first time in Pokemon HISTORY that Ash has made it to the FINALS in the Pokemon League! I truly believed that this would be the time that Ash would come out on top. And throughout the whole battle between him and Alain, they make it all seem like it's going to come true. Ash and Greninja are in COMPLETE control of the battlefield, whenever they're working together. They make Greninja INTENSE and you just KNOW that they're gonna win and Ash is FINALLY going to win! .........but he doesn't.
As ends up losing to Alain, even though the final attack is done by Greninja, who ends up fainting from exhaustion. This was the most frustrating part of the entire show. This was the PERFECT time for Ash to finally come out on top! I know the show creators have said that if Ash ever won the Pokemon League, his journey would be over. But I KNOW that's not true! Ash wouldn't just go home and stare as his 1st place trophy for the rest of his life, whenever he won it. He would go out to a new region to find new Pokemon and go to new places and take on a new challenge. He would NEVER end his journey, as long as there's still new places to explore in the world of Pokemon. He won 1st place in the Orange League! Did he stop his journey, then? Nope! He became king of the Battle Frontier and was even offered a position as one of the Frontier Brains! Did he take the position? Nope! He continued his journey around the world! So ya. It's nonsense to say that Ash isn't allowed to win, or else his journey would be over. He DESERVED to win here and it would've been a perfect end to an incredible journey with a character we all grew up with.
But whatever. Alain wins the Pokemon League. But the show actually doesn't stop there. Out of nowhere, the final battle with Team Flare begins. And it's one of the most epic battles with an evil team in Pokemon history! Team Flare's ambitions are explained in a way that makes them seem a lot more intense and fierce, as opposed to how they were explained in the games. They made Team Flare both incredibly evil and genuinely frightening. So it's up to not only Ash, but Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, and the unsung heroes of Pokemon, Team Rocker, to stop Team Flare and save the Kalos region. All of them play a huge role in this final battle. Clemont and Bonnie have very deep and emotional moments that were both very sad and incredibly dark for Pokemon standards. Serena didn't stand out as much as they did, but considering how much her character rocked the rest of the show, I say she gets a pass. As for Ash...
Let me just say this. The voice actors of both Ash and his traveling companions deserve recognition for how stinkin awesomely they voiced these last couple of episodes. It's honestly some of, if not the BEST moments of voice acting in the Pokemon anime's history. Ash sounds truly intense and is able to send chills down your spine with his words, alone. Clemont does just as good of a job as Ash with that, and Bonnie goes from cute mascot, to downright heartbreaking. Seriously. I know a lot of us were real uppity when the Pokemon dub got handed over to a new company and all the voices got changed. But I loved their work in Diamond and Pearl, onward. And now that they've been doing the dub LONGER than the original dub, and seeing the performances they gave with these last few episodes of XY&Z, I applaud the heck out of every single person who worked on this show. You all seriously did an amazing job and you should be truly proud of your stellar performances.
In conclusion, Pokemon X and Y is FANTASTIC. It was a million times better than Black and White, the animation is the best it's ever been, the main human characters are absolutely incredible, and the ending of this series was everything that the ending of Black and White should've been. I still think that Diamond and Pearl wins by a hair, in terms of story and overall cast, however. Both of them are fantastic and the absolute highlights of the Pokemon anime. If you've been out of the Pokemon anime for a long time and don't really think it's worth returning to, I can tell you with total confidence that you WILL like X and Y. As long as you can accept that all the Pokemon and characters and their voice actors from your childhood aren't there anymore, X and Y will prove to be something truly special and something that can be enjoyed by every Pokemon fan, as well as fans of anime, as a whole.
When it comes to the Pokemon anime, many people make the mistake to assume it can be taken as a single anime. Each "cycle" is very different from the others, whether that be the narrative or the art style.
As such, it must always be taken as several shows. If some of them are really bad (especially the first one and Best Wishes), some of them are absolutely amazing, for various reasons.
Pokemon XY is an awesome shônen, with epic fights, a decent story (although not flawless), and an excellent art style.
The story in Pokemon evolved a lot. After 15 seasons, they learned to create deeper characters
with decent stories. They also made a very respectable Ash.
Pokemon XY is still about Ash and Pikachu on their way to become a Pokemon Master. But now, they are at a whole different level than they were in the beginning. They have several Leagues of experience, which serve them a lot as they often defeat their opponents hands down.
Aside from Ash, the story introduces Serena (who first follows Ash only by love, but then finds her way thanks to the Tripokalon, a contest show), and Citron and Eureka (a Gym Leader and his little sister, who travel across the region for fun).
If these companions don't tell much story in the beginning, Serena's character becomes way more interesting when she starts practicing for Tripokalon.
But for now, all that is quite basic in Pokemon. Luckily, XY also has a lot of other stories revolving around several other characters. In fact, it is divided into small arcs (which makes this show look much more like a shônen, Naruto style).
Long story short, this anime tells decent stories, sadly they are quite independent from each other, which makes it feel a little broken.
Pokemon XY is simply amazing.
The drawings and environments are stunning, and the light effects are absolutely wonderful. The second opening starts with a view during dawn, and it is definitely the BEST dawn I've ever seen in japanimation, the colors really catch up the feels of a true dawn.
The animation is also excellent. It is among the best we can find in japanimation, AND it's also way less rare than in other anime. My point is, in an anime, we often have to wait for around 5 episodes before we get one cool action scene, and that usually lasts only a few minutes. Do you see what I mean?
That's not the case in Pokemon XY. ALL the fights have an excellent animation, and this show is all about fights.
Finally, the show is very dynamic. The battles feel intense thanks to that.
Pokemon has always had an excellent OST (in the original version, of course ; in dubs, the OST has been ruined a lot). Imo, this series has the best openings of the whole show (Volt is epic, Get Ban Ban feels very good to hear, and XYZ is pure rock).
The music themes are memorable, especially Ash-Greninja's theme.
Finally, the seiyuus do a wonderful job, as usual. Note that Citron is voiced by Yuki Kaji, the same as Eren in AoT.
Across the seasons (except BW), Ash became strong, learned a lot, and now in XY, he is BADASS and hardly defeatable. Yes, you heard right.
While they do sometimes make him lose for the sake of suspense, in this series Ash is a beast in Pokemon Battles, he often one shots his opponents and is even considered a mentor by many other characters. While Ash is often criticized as a character, his XY version is mature and badass, and is a real fighter.
Ash's new friends are charming, but it takes time before they tell decent stories. In fact, their characters really stand out only in the second half, particularly in the last season, XYZ. Eureka befriends a Legendary Pokemon, Citron prepares for his Gym Battle against Ash and also has to degend his City against Team Flare.
But the secondary characters are really what makes XY stand out as a Pokemon anime. Many of them have a very interesting and progressive story. Among them:
- Corni, a Gym Leader owner of a Lucario, must learn to control the Mega-Evolution to become stronger ;
- Allan, who first wants to defeat all the Mega-Evolution, then has to fight with Team Flare to save his friend's Pokemon (which fell into a coma) ;
- the star of this show : Greninja, who first evolves to his final stage and then reveals a whole new evolution called Battle Bond.
It's always hard to describe the characters in a Pokemon show, because there's plenty of them.
Long story short : in Pokemon XY, many characters stand out thanks to their interesting story.
The way things keep progressing is really worth it, and watching this series it really feels like everyone grows up and evolves.
There are two Pokemon anime that I find excellent: DP and XY.
The reasons are different, though. While the story in XY is not flawless, it makes up for it with very interesting characters, very cool story arcs, and an excellent art style.
It's definitely worth watching, if you skip the fillers.
Over the years, Ash Ketchum (Satoshi) has traveled to many different regions in the Pokemon world. Each new region brings a new generation of Pokemon with it and the anime features Ash and his pal Pikachu catching a new team of Pokemon with each new adventure.