Welcome to Anime of The Week #51! Do you like video games? Do you like Nintendo? Then this anime is for you! The anime is Pokemon.
Season 1: Apr 1, 1997 ~ Nov 14, 2002
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.
Being a fan of the video game franchise the anime is based on, it was no surprise that I would come to love the show as well. This was one of, if not the first anime I ever watched when I was a young child, though I won’t let nostalgia blind the review. Lets talk about the strong points of the show first.
Some of the strong points of the show would be the motivation for the main character being very clear: He wants to be the very best and be a Pokemon Master, just like the original Pokemon games. Ash Ketchum is definitely the kind of role model that kids could look up to, even if he can make plenty of mistakes. He would catch plenty of Pokemon for his team and, on some occassions, give away some of his Pokemon, whether he wants them to live their own life or it’s because they’d be better off in another setting. Ash’s companions, Brock and Misty, are also very likable in their own right. The former acting like the voice of reason, though her patients does have their limits, while Brock can be a hopeless romantic as the series went on.
The recurring villains of the show, Team Rocket, consist of three members: Jessie, James, and Meowth. They are probably some of the best parts of the entire show, watching make plenty of traps, disguises, and other ways to try to catch Ash’s Pikachu. Though even they have their own backstories, making you feel for them more. And I really like that how they are just simple goons.
Though the anime does have its fair share of laughs and action, there are times when the show gets pretty serious at times, such as the episode where Ash would obtain Charmander, who used to belong to a Trainer who considered him weak and left them out in the rain. Or early on in the series when Ash gave his life to protect Pikachu from a flock of Spearows.
Overall, the show will always hold a place in my heart. While I consider the Hoenn and Sinnoh arcs my favorite series in the Pokemon franchise, the original will always hold that special place as an anime that got me to where I am with Pokemon.
Seasons and Episodes:
Season 1: 276 Episodes
Thanks for reading, and see you all on the next Anime of The Week! 🙂