Sadly due to my schedule and working on some other projects, I was unable to get to the movie theater this week. However, I was able to work in front of a television screen that just happened to have Netflix on it and if I can’t do a latest released review, then I can sure as hell get all kinds of nostalgic on this site. As luck would have it, just recently Netflix has acquired the first 52 episodes of the original season of Pokemon, Pokemon Indigo League as well as Pokemon Black and White as well as the movies that accompany it. So needless to say I have been reliving my childhood, having not see them for several years up until now. So needless to say with the nostalgia bug tickling me and my critic senses tingling, this review was an inevitability. I loved the original episodes of Pokemon growing up, in fact my entire elementary school and some of middle school was dominated by the concept of these tiny little Darwin monsters that you put into cock fights. So does a television show that was the culmination of my youthful mind stand the test of time as I have become an adult?… Well let’s just say that it was exactly what I was expecting to see. Childhood nostalgia in an okay television show whose main purpose is to sell its copious amounts of products to its fan base. It is my love for the original G1 Transformers all over again.
For those either too young to see or two old to care, Pokemon Indigo Leagues is the story of Ash Ketchum. He is a young boy who just recently obtained his Pokemon Trainer License and has begun his journey to become the ambiguously obtainable title of Pokemon Master. On the day he is supposed to collect his Pokemon, his alarm does not go off and he misses on collecting the three starting Pokemon, something his rival Gary Oak chastises him for. Luckily though, there is one Pokemon left that Professor Oak can give to him, a capricious little electric mouse called Pikachu.
At first Pikachu is pretty much just an asshole to Ash, electrocuting him and refusing to listen to a word he says, but after a horrible mishap with a flock of Spearow (just think overly agitated birds) Pikachu begins to warm up to him. Along the way Ash meets a couple of friends named Brock and Misty. Brock is a rock type Pokemon specialist and wishes to one day become a Pokemon Breeder while Misty is a water type specialist and is simply there to regain the bike that Ash stole and subsequently destroyed (also a quasi love interest). They are also constantly being followed by the nefarious Team Rocket. Members Jessie, James, and Meowth are hot on their tail in order to capture the elusive and very powerful Pikachu. The story follows Ash and his pals as he attempts to collect gym badges, gain a tight bond to his Pokemon, and become Pokemon Master.
This is just one of those shows that has a good ole happy feel to it. It is simple and easy to watch. Perfect if you had a bad day and just want to smile or if you are just a fan of saccharine sweet life lessons. For a person like me, there are times when I am either working on a project or just watching television and do not want some heavy-handed drama or something to devote my entire attention to, Pokemon is a perfect remedy for me. It is happy, cheerful, and simplistic.
Talk about a cast that will stick with you forever. Anyone who is a fan of Pokemon loves the original cast. Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu, Jessie, James, and Meowth are just lovable character who I cannot see anyone get tired of. Sure some of their jokes can play a little thin like Brock’s constant and failed attempts at hitting on every girl he sees as well as Team Rocket’s depressing attempts to relentlessly capture Pikachu which we will get to in the cons. But other than that each of the characters just has that personality that works. That makes you want to come back for more.
Maybe it is because they are etched into our minds week after week, but each of these characters holds a special place in the hearts of any fan of the series.
There is no way around it, most of the time the writers simply didn’t give a rat’s ass; with the attitude at first of, ‘Eh it is just for kids’ I am sure. The show is very episodic although there is connection between episodes there is usually heavy amounts of exposition dumps for the times that something is supposed to connect to another episode. Team Rockets continued failed attempts at collecting an electric rodent start to wear on the every tinge of your brain screaming for common sense to tell them to get a new hobby. Plus there are many moments in the show where Ash will whip out his Pokedex just to give an exposition dump on the themed Pokemon of the episode. This usually falls back on the Ash characters as many have called him incompetent for always whipping out his Pokedex, but really this can just be attributed to the writers and directors of the show assuming that we fans do not know what a Pidgey is.
This becomes a problem when it begins to feel like the writers are constantly patronizing the viewer. I remember I even had this feeling whenever I was younger and knew it wasn’t the characters fault, but just poor writing on the parties involved.
No Appeal Past Fan Base
This one is short, sweet, and to the point. If you are not a member of the fandom, then sadly you just will not like this show. Shows like Pokemon walk a rather dangerous line. You are making a show that only appeals to children and what will later become a very small and passionate group of people. Sure more kids will join but for the most part, things like Pokemon are always going to peak and then level out into its fandom. Because of this, you do not have wide appeal, but you are always guaranteed a small passionate group of people… As long as they do not lose interest. But bottom line, if you are not already a fan of the Pokemon games, then you will not like the series as well.
Overall the show isn’t bad. It does have some really lazy writing and outside of the fan base, its appeal is zero. But it is still a very cheerful show and one that is easy to watch. The characters are enjoyable, the setting is very intriguing, interesting, and it gives that old nostalgic feel that a person like me can always go back and look fondly on.
Final Score 2.5/5
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more. I will be back Tuesday with another review and hopefully a new episode of NTOE if Brandon can find the time in his busy schedule to film. Until then, thanks for reading.