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.