Pokemon are peculiar creatures with a vast array of different abilities and appearances; many people, known as Pokemon trainers, capture and train them, often with the intent of battling others. Young Satoshi has not only dreamed of becoming a Pokemon trainer but also a "Pokemon Master," and on the arrival of his 10th birthday, he finally has a chance to make that dream a reality. Unfortunately for him, all three Pokemon available to beginning trainers have already been claimed and only Pikachu, a rebellious Electric type Pokemon, remains. However, this chance encounter would mark the start of a lifelong friendship and an epic adventure!
Setting off on a journey to become the very best, Satoshi and Pikachu travel across beautiful, sprawling regions with their friends Kasumi, a Water type trainer, and Takeshi, a Rock type trainer. But danger lurks around every corner. The infamous Team Rocket is always nearby, seeking to steal powerful Pokemon through nefarious schemes. It'll be up to Satoshi and his friends to thwart their efforts as he also strives to earn the eight Pokemon Gym Badges he'll need to challenge the Pokemon League, and eventually claim the title of Pokemon Master.
JP #1: "Mezase Pokemon Master (めざせポケモンマスター)" by Rica Matsumoto (eps 1-82) JP #2: "Rival! (ライバル！)" by Rica Matsumoto (eps 83-118) JP #3: "OK!" by Rica Matsumoto (eps 119-194) JP #4: "Mezase Pokemon Master (めざせポケモンマスター)" by Whiteberry (eps 195-241) JP #5: "Ready, Go!" by Naomi Tamura (eps 241-276) US #1: "Pokémon Theme (Gotta Catch'em All)" by Jason Paige (eps 1-82) US #2: "Pokémon World" by ??? (eps 83-116) US #3: "A Whole New World (Pokémon Johto)" by PJ Lequerica/Johto (eps 117-156) US #4: "Born To Be a Winner" by David Rolfe (eps 157-208) US #5: "Master Quest" by David Rolfe (eps 209-272)
#01: "Hyaku Gojuu Ichi" by Unshou Ishizuka and Pokemon Kids (eps 1-27) #02: "Nyaasu no Uta" by Inuko Inuyama (eps 28-37) #03: "Pocket ni Fantasy" by Sachi & Juri (eps 38-53) #04: "Pokemon Ondo" by Garura Kobayashi (eps 54-66) #05: "Type: Wild" by Rica Matsumoto (eps 67-104) #06: "Lapras ni Notte" by Iizuka Mayumi and Aikawa Rikako (eps 105-116) #07: "Nyaasu no Party" by Roketto-Dan (eps 119-143) #08: "Pokemon Hara Hara Relay" by Aikawa Rikako And Korasu #09: "Takeshi no Paradaisu" by Yuji Ueda (eps 159-174) #10: "Boku no Best Friend e" by Iawasaki Hiromi (eps 175-193)
#11: "Maemuki Roketto-Dan" by Roketto-Dan (eps 194-238) #12: "Poketaari Monsutaari" by KANA (eps 241-276)
It's pretty unfabulous to have to review something you love when you know it's not very good.
Pokemon works with a re-use formula, the story is long, it is repetitive, it doesn't progress in any way because development doesn't really happen.
Art and sound is mediocre as it is a mass-produced anime. Production costs would have been sky-high if they spent any more money on it, and it shows.
The characters are pretty two-dimensional. They aren't deep, you don't go into their heads, and they're all about 11-15 years old but all act the same.
But why do I love this anime so much?? I was obsessed with it as a child, and it still has a warm place in my heart. I think it's a perfect anime for children because it teaches them some good lessons: try to be the best, do the right thing, and your friends and family are the most important people in your life.
Only unfabulously mean people hate on Pokemon. You know they all watched it and liked it as a child, but my, how uppity we have all become. If you're feeling nostalgic and want to go back to when anime was about adventure and friendship and silliness, then Pokemon is for you. It's also a harmless, fun anime for your kids, too. So I totally recommend it. Fabulous, it is. read more
Pokemon! We've all heard of the show, and most of us have watched and (probably) loved it as kids. So this means it's great, no? I mean, why else would kids all over the world love it? Well... kids often preceive things differently than the older demographic, and they find great what others think of as garbage. So... what about Pokemon? Is this the same? Let's see...
It starts out with a tiny step, like most other journeys. Our hero, Ash Ketchum, has high dreams of becoming the ultimate Pokemon trainer (I'll refrain from explaining that to you), and he starts out by sleeping in too late! before logn however, he's gotten his first (reluctant) Pokemon, everyone's favorite mouse Pikachu, and they're off on their epic journey!
The shows brings out an epic adventure of friendship, harsh battles and whatnot; everything you'd expect from a shonen that's aimed at the younger kids. It isn't that great however, as it gets very repetitive after a while; a Pokemon/person of the day formula with some kind of problem that always ends well. And that's what most of the episodes contain, with a small bit of getting further on their journey every now and then.
Animation-wise, the show doesn't feature anything boastable, with flat character designs, okay backgrounds and no spectacular special effects at all. Was it because of budget restrictions (it is a pretty long anime, after all), or was it because the producers knew the kids they were aiming the show at didn't care anyway? Well, whatever it was, the animation isn't anything to brag about.
The soundtrack is what you'd expect of such a show; adventurous opening themes, background music that's supposed to get you into the fighting/comedic mood, and a variety of sound effects to use for all the moves and whatnot you'll see. The voice acting is decent, but honestly - my unability to cope with dubs in anime pretty much wins over my nostalgia here, and that is the main reason I stopped watching the show some time ago.
The characters are, well, what you'd expect from a shonen. The rash, headstrong main character and his oh-so-arrogant rival, and the people he travels with; the older, more reasonable (mostly) fellow, and of course, the tomboyish girl with whome he argues a lot. Yup, that's shonen for ya. The main comedic relief of the series, the Team Rocket trio, is actually a pretty entertaining one. Despite constantly neglecting to look over their mistakes and realise that every one of their contraptions fail against Ash and company, they keep on trying, knowing thinking that their boss will reward them greatly of they bring him the Pikachu. I like their stupid enthusiasm a lot, and their scenes are often among amogn the better ones in the series.
So... Pokemon is basically a cliche-ridden shonen with no real thing to make it stand out. Wait... that can't be right? What about all the kids that love it? And what of all the others that love it? One of the things, I believe, is the adventurous feel of the series; who wouldn't want to experience such an epic adventure for themselves? (I know I want to, at least!) Not to mention, the great values of friendship, loyalty and trust which are presented to the viewers. That is one thing that makes Pokemon so great, and I'd try to get any kid into the show becasue of that reason alone. And that's what there is to say about Pokemon, actually.read more
Pokemon had many good qualities during its golden years (roughly 1998-2002). It became an unstoppable force in many countries, mainly the USA and Japan. It quickly became the most successful show based off a video game and it has the most episodes of any animated show ever shown in America.
The animation was great for its time, and the songs were very addictive. It was obvious that everybody that saw the show enjoyed it very much, myself included. And to this day, over 10 years after the debut of Pokemon, they are still able to sell merchandise.
But what created the downfall of the series was that it never ended! The show could've easily ended at the end of episode 84, with the end of the Pokemon League. They could've said "Since that day, Ash trained hard to be a master." and then show him as a master. But no, the episodes just keep coming and coming. Johto was cool because of showing new pokemon, but when they repeated the trend of "new pokemon lolz" it got old really quick. And not mention that Ash never matured. He had a birthday one episode and in the 3rd movie he exclaimed that he and Pikachu have been together for a year. But at the start of Diamond and Pearl Ash was mentioned to be 10 years old again. Inconsistency is bad if you want to keep your audience.
It still find myself rewatching the first few seasons of Pokemon and hugging my pikachu pillow. But the new episodes these days just don't have the same atmosphere as the old show and it is hard to watch it without booing the lack-luster effort that gets put into each episode. But Pokemon will always have an unforgettable place in my heart and (ignoring anything past the Johto season) for that I give it an 8/10.read more
Today I look at an anime I have been putting off reviewing for some time. Pokemon! Although I had seen bits of anime before Pokemon, this was one of the first long running anime series I actually started following back in 1997. I don't pretend to be a great "pokemon master" since I haven't played one of the games since Crystal and I stopped watching the show around 2001. This is a review of the first 2 seasons: Kanto and the Orange Island League
The Pokemon games on gameboy revolutionized handheld RPGs and were brilliant, fun, addicting, and absolute masterpieces when they hit the US in 1996. I spent over 200 hours playing Silver and another 100 for crystal in order to get all 251. I also spent a LOT of time playing Yellow, while my brother had Pokemon Blue. However, Pokemon has never really been about plot and characters. It is about game mechanics and innovative game play. That is one reason the anime despite the nostalgia...really isn't that good.
The plot or lack thereof is about Ash Ketchum, a 10 year old wandering vagabond who captures animals and forces them to fight in contests. He has no source of income and seems to just walk the Earth like Caine in Kung Fu. Ash manages to win Pokemon badges by cheating and deus ex machina bullshit rather than actual talent or effort. Of the 8 badges in season 1, he only wins 3 by actually defeating the Gym leader. He wins one because the fire alarm went off, 2 because team Rocket showed up and he beat them, and he even "won" a badge because a wild pokemon that Ash didn't even capture made the Gym Leader laugh. Seriously! This fucking happens! The show is supposed to be about friendship and teamwork, but that message is difficult to sell when your show involves battling animals for sport. Cock fighting is NOT about friendship and teamwork! It is about bloodlust and money! The characters are bland, the episodes are formulaic to an extreme, and only in rare instances does something actually interesting happen.
You are probably now accusing me of being a grump and ruining childhoods. I will admit that there was 1 arc of Pokemon that wasn't actually that bad...relatively speaking. My favorite story arc in Pokemon was actually the Saffron City Gym Arc. The Gym Leader Sabrina is a telekinetic sociopath that uses a creepy doll to talk for her like something you would see in a Saw movie. Sabrina threatens to turn Ash and friends into dolls if Ash loses and actually follows up on that threat. She shrinks them down and puts them in a doll house as seen in an old Twilight Zone episode! I'm aware that there were a few fairly dark episodes in season 1 including one where the Safari dude had a gun, but those didn't make the US edit. The creepiest and darkest episode we got to see in the US was BY FAR the Saffron Arc. What I liked was that it didn't follow the formula used in nearly every other episode, Team Rocket doesn't freaking show up, it actually dares to be bold and challenge its young viewers, and it felt much more creative overall.
The art and animation is what you would expect from a 90s anime with 300 episodes. It sucks. At least this was before the advent of CG, so there isn't a plethora of cheap Cg effects to make things even worse!
Although the soundtrack reused the same songs OVER and OVER again, it actually wasn't that bad. In fact, the soundtrack is probably the strongest element of the original Pokemon anime. The theme song was amazing and really sucked the viewers in, the battle themes were tense, and the emotional themes struck a chord with 10 year olds at the time. It is actually a well done soundtrack overall!
Pokemon is a very nostalgic anime for me, so I can't actually bring myself to hate it. Having said that, it isn't a very good anime. The writing and plot isn't good, the characters are awful, the animation is bad, it is INSANELY repetitive, and the themes of friendship and determination kind of go out the window when you realize the plot is about capturing wild animals and forcing them to fight for your own amusement. Yes the Pokemon only "faint" and don't actually die, but still pretty bad. Amusingly, in the original Pokemon manga based off the games, the Pokemon really DO battle to the death! Of course the shitty Pokemon manga is a review for another day.read more