After his mother wins a free trip to the islands, Pokemon trainer Satoshi and his partner Pikachu head for Melemele Island of the beautiful Alola region, which is filled with lots of new Pokemon and even variations of familiar faces. Eager to explore the island, Satoshi and Pikachu run wild with excitement, quickly losing their way while chasing after a Pokemon. The pair eventually stumbles upon the Pokemon School, an institution where students come to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
At the school, when he and one of the students—the no-nonsense Kaki—have a run-in with the nefarious thugs of Team Skull, Satoshi discovers the overwhelming might of the Z-Moves, powerful attacks originating from the Alola region that require the trainer and Pokemon to be in sync. Later that night, he and Pikachu have an encounter with the guardian deity Pokemon of Melemele Island, the mysterious Kapu Kokeko. The Pokemon of legend bestows upon them a Z-Ring, a necessary tool in using the Z-Moves. Dazzled by his earlier battle and now in possession of a Z-Ring, Satoshi and Pikachu decide to stay behind in the Alola Region to learn and master the strength of these powerful new attacks.
Enrolling in the Pokemon School, Satoshi is joined by classmates such as Lillie, who loves Pokemon but cannot bring herself to touch them, Kaki, and many others. Between attending classes, fending off the pesky Team Rocket—who themselves have arrived in Alola to pave the way for their organization's future plans—and taking on the Island Challenge that is necessary to master the Z-Moves, Satoshi and Pikachu are in for an exciting new adventure.
#1: "Pose (ポーズ)" by Taiiku Okazaki (eps 1-60) #2: "Jari Boy Jari Girl (ジャリボーイ・ジャリガール)" by Taiiku Okazaki (eps 61-81, 87-103) #3: "Breath (ブレス)" by Porno Graffitti (eps 82-86) #4: "Kokoro no Nōto (心のノート)" by Hino City Nanaomidori Elementary School Choir (eps 104-??)
Satoshi finally came to the Alola Region and boy is this fun to watch. Trying not to watch this series with nostalgia goggles, let's get down into my ratings.
STORY: 6-10 (so far)
Right now, passing through Ep 7. There has been a primary focus on the starters. Each starter had their own dedicated episode. We are already 7 episodes in and we have not broken out of the school phase yet. I was expecting for him to move onto his journey to do the island challenge (at least that was the indication given to me in Ep 2).
Ok, why did I give
it a 10-10? Before y'all get the tin hats and pitch forks, let me explain. Toward the tail end of the XYZ series, Oriental Light and Magic (the studio for Pokemon the last 20 years) was moving towards the cutting edge of animation technology. Most of the backgrounds were moved from hand paintings to digital 3D spaces. This allowed the animators to focus more on the animation without having to worry so much about the background. Hence why some of the gym battles towards the end of XYZ were the best animated in the past 20 years.
Moving onto today with SM, OLM has moved the entire animation pipeline to digital. There is no more scanning paper drawings and digitally converting them. The character designs were a slight victim to this change, however overall we have seen the character design for Satoshi (Ash) change since "I Choose You". Now to say that his design is a step backwards can be true, however it is really a step forward. Watching each episode and looking at the in-betweens and comparing it to the XY design, it is a night and day difference in the animation quality. The old character design was created in the 90s when the industry was using cell animation. They kept the same character design for the past 20 years and as animation advanced, the design was showing its limitations due to its age. Through this new design, you will find that Satoshi has way more animation options.
Sound was overall pretty good. I liked that they were doing some stereo panning with some voices to have a sense of direction for the characters.
Without nostalgia glasses on. I can say that the jokes and the cringe were enjoyable. They finally switch up the TR "Blasting Off" gag for something completely different.
May contain very minor spoilers that won't affect your watching experience. If by any chance you didn't like it then message me and I will edit it out.
First up the Story is more or less the same, about a 10 year old boy named Satoshi aiming to be a Pokemon Master. Usually Satoshi collects gym badges and enters the league, but this time it's different . Satoshi's new adventure is on a island with new pokemon and new friends. I'm not going to explain the plot anymore because I don't want to ruin anyones experience. The story improves significantly in time, but you have to
get used to the changes at your own pace. it look me 3 episodes to get used to for example.
The most noticeable change in Sun & Moon is the animation style. This change is the most criticized, after all Satoshi was starting to look much more mature in XYZ. Yes, he looks much more of a kid, but how old is he? 15? 16? No, he is 10. He's been 10 since 1997. This criticism is very annoying. Anyhow, the animation suits the setting very well and also makes it more funny.
The soundtracks suit the battling very well, not to mention the funny moments. The opening song is addicting and the ending song is amazing. For Pokemon you don't have to worry about the sound of the music or alike.
Every individual character has their own personality. Their personality is what makes the show entertaining. For example, Lillie is too afraid to touch Pokemon. The characters design works well with the plot and everything else.
I love Sun & Moon to bits. It's my life right now. #1 favourite anime at the moment and will stay that way. The reasons I love it is because of the comedy, animation, new pokemon and Z-Powers.
Satoshi going to school wasn't the anime fault, it's the game. If you don't like it then consult nintendo. A change is not always bad, in this case it is perfect. Seeing Satoshi Lose in the league again and again wasn't exactly the best anyway .
Thanks for reading and give Sun & Moon a try. I will prob edit in a few months. I haven't checked for errors.
If what you value in anime is a tightly written plot, fleshed out and well-developed characters, or strong, resonant themes, than I am sorry to say that the Sun and Moon anime will likely disappoint you.
The plot is generally episodic, with the "main" story only advancing sporadically, often seemingly at random, and sometimes, you may question what the plot's even supposed to be.
The characters are used inconsistently, with some receiving far more attention than others. Some will develop a lot, others not at all, despite them all having just as much potential.
And on the whole, after you've caught up to the show, you may
look back and question if you've really learned anything. Indeed, you may be asking: "What was the point?"
Many shows would crumble under the weight of these flaws, and I couldn't entirely blame you if this has put you off from watching this anime.
Pokemon Sun and Moon is one of the warmest, most wholesome, and downright most pleasant shows I have ever seen. All of the above criticisms are perfectly valid, but instead of buckling over these shortcomings, Sun and Moon laughs off the complaints, reaches out its hand, and invites you to have some fun.
The aesthetic is top tier. Alola is a tropical island, and this is nailed down so perfectly that any individual shot of most episodes immediately gives off a warm and pleasant vibe. Just looking at the show puts me at peace, but it's not just the artwork that's impressive. Many were wary of the character design changes Sun and Moon implemented, but the simplified designs not only mesh incredibly well with the setting, but also serve to make animating these characters much easier. I feel confident saying that this is the most well-animated Pokemon series to date, and one of the best looking long-running anime of all time. Whether it's an intense Pokemon battle or even a baseball face-off, everything is brought to life so vibrantly that it's impossible not to be charmed.
The overarching plot may be lacking, but every episode provides it's own little story that manages to entertain, in so many different ways. One episode you'll be laughing at the antics of lost Pokemon finding their way home, another episode you'll be awed by a sudden explosion of stellar fight animation, and sometimes you'll find yourself tearing up at some of the saddest scenes in Pokemon history.
But never fear, because you can wipe those tears away with some fun on the beach, see what new shenanigans Team Rocket is getting up to (spoiler alert: their new friend is EXTREMELY protective), and maybe even get hyped for a new capture or evolution.
You'll have plenty of friends to experience this all with. Some might say TOO many, in fact, as the show often struggles to give every main character something important to do, but that's all right, you'll always get to see them again in the next episode. Every character is a joy to watch, boasting great designs and voice acting to really bring them to life. They all get time to shine, in different ways, and even the few I didn't like at the beginning grew on me quickly. The good vibes this group gives off are infectious, and this is a group of friends I'm happy to watch doing pretty much anything.
Of course, some may still be disappointed. Especially coming off the heels of XYZ, which took the Pokemon anime to a more serious place than it's ever been. Many might wonder why they should bother with a show that looks so silly in comparison. They may wonder what it could offer them, when all the goofy faces and simple designs seem so much like they're trying to appeal to children. And make no mistake, the show IS primarily for children. The Pokemon anime always has been. But just because that's the target audience, doesn't mean everyone can't have fun with it.
The point of Sun and Moon isn't to arrive at any grand destination. It's not to teach you a valuable lesson, and it's not to make you ponder anything long after you've watched it. The point, plain and simple, is just to have fun. To give you 20 minutes of bright sun, good friends, and a warm feeling inside that will hopefully brighten your day. This is absolutely the kind of show you can rewatch episodes of, not because you may have missed something the first time, but just because you want that Sun and Moon feeling again.
If you've been holding out on trying Sun and Moon for whatever reason, be that the art style change, different cast, or change of tone, I urge you to give it a chance. If you tried the show out but found yourself put off by it, maybe a change in mindset will help you enjoy it.
Try to remember when you first got into the Pokemon anime. I'm sure most of us were kids, and while we no doubt enjoyed the action and liked whatever characters we grew up with, the reason Pokemon is so beloved the world over is because the world of Pokemon is just inherently fun. It's nice to be transported to a world where the biggest thing you have to worry about is how you'll get your pet dog to evolve into a wolf, and going to school is a great time where you learn about the things you love.
Sun and Moon certainly won't appeal to everyone, but if you can still remember that childlike wonder of first discovering Pokemon, if you want to be taken to a tropical island with some pleasant company for awhile, if you're interested in seeing consistently great and inventive sakuga, or if you're just in the mood for some good, clean fun, then you'll have the time of your life with Pokemon Sun and Moon.
Once XY(&Z) was ending, they started releasing trailers for Sun and Moon, I was looking at the optimistic side of things. Through my eyes I saw Sun and Moon trailing off of the XY series as a sort of "calm before the storm" if that makes any sense. After all the action that was brought by the previous season, the drama, the development, all the characters acting as one and thinking about the others, I felt Sun and Moon would be about Ash and him preparing for his next journey and learning what he could before his next big step into a new region and
a new adventure. What I thought and what I've been watching are two completely different things.
I was enjoying it at first but as it went along I started losing interest. I looked at this installment of the series as a "laid back time" meaning that this wasn't going to be as serious as previous generations before it since the Alola region is such a relaxed and easy going place, but I never expected it to be so uninteresting. I wanted to see travelling between the groups. Going all over the island and learning new things. With the idea of school they could have done so much. Make every new unit take place on a different island (schools are on each island) or each new lesson is taught in a particular part of the island that it relates to.
I understand this whole generation is going to be centered around school but I honestly don't like that. Having to try and relate with and enjoy characters isn't possible for a lot of us because of the way that the writers have been taking the series. In my view, Mallow is really the only one in the entire group who actually seems to care. It's almost like they took Ash from XY and copy/pasted him into Mallow and just gave the Sun and Moon Ash a completely new personality.
I want to go back to something like XY or Diamond and Pearl. We saw just how well they could write the characters and develop them. Sure there were a few dull moments but I'm sure each and every one of us can say that the following episodes that were not filler always made up for it. Hell, even the fillers at times were amazing. I want to have that feeling where every week when I watch an episode, I can leave it to last on my list because it's the one I'm looking most forward to. With the maybe 3-5 anime that update on Thursdays that I'm watching, Sun and Moon is always the first and I just say "let's get it over with". I want the feeling where I can come back and wait letting the suspense build up and finally watching the episode and then thinking about how good it was for the rest of the night.
If I ever watch a Sun and Moon episode now, at the end I'm either thinking "Why the hell is Ash so annoying? Seriously can you just act like you used to?" or "That was boring... Only decent thing that happened was Mallow actually attempting to get everybody to participate..." THIS IS NOT WHAT THE SHOW IS ABOUT.
Pokemon is a show about Ash who is setting out on his journey to be a Pokemon master while along the way he meets new people, makes new friends and learns from everyone. Sun and Moon doesn't include any of this. Kiawe for example could have had such a big role if they did not make him so annoying. He was the only one who had a Z-Ring when Ash first came here and he could have taught Ash and actually been a rival if they wrote Ash to have the same personality he once did. Lillie was supposed to have the largest role in the group seeing how she was the main characters in the games except now she barely does anything other than playing the role of an "informant" supplying the main characters with useful information as well as the "tragic heroine" since she can't touch Pokemon, other than Vulpix/Shiron, and always needs help from others. Lana is just meh. There's nothing to great about her other than the rare moments where she shines. And then Sophocles is just- *throws up*.
What I'm trying to say is that this series is nothing like a Pokemon series. This just feels like some random slice of life/fantasy/school life/comedy crap about a group of kids who just met some random kid who is hyper and they run around with their pets and one of the people in the group of kids is scared of pets so the others keep pushing their pets onto the one that's scared of pets so she won't be scared anymore. Then one of the kids is trying to get them to stop and have them all work together or make everything fun for them and they are the only one that leaves any impact on us. Then there is the hyper kid who comes there with nothing and then gets an OP power up and then one of the other kids who has an OP power up tells him that he has to be really strong to use that power up until the pet that gave the hyper kid that power up toys with him and says "lets show this snot nosed brat what you can do" and then they fight but the hyper kid doesn't win but still shows up the cocky snot nosed brat. Then the story continues for 25-27 episodes until SOMETHING GOOD FINALLY HAPPENS and then we have to wait god knows how long until something good happens again.
What a Pokemon series should have is what we've seen in every other region (besides black and white... Let's just not mention that). It should be a sense of a team where they treat each other like a family member. A group of 6 just doesn't work out. It just feels like they're classmates with no relation. Everyone should enjoy being with everyone, wanting to spend time with each other and learn from everyone or help each other. Have a sense that wherever one goes, the other goes and makes the journey/even a little bit more interesting. Everyone should have a goal or dream they are striving to get and actually show DEVELOPMENT TOWARDS THE DREAM OR GOAL.
Sun and Moon from my eyes is not a "Pokemon Series". It's a lazy attempt at trying to appeal to an audience that is just not interested. Unless I can see a light in this very, very dark and dim place that the anime is currently in then I'll keep my nose out of it and continue to watch something that actually has me wanting more.