Pokemon was an amazing anime during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This was the time when Japanese animation was starting to become popular in the states. Now let’s be fair, DBZ, Sailor Moon, and a plethora of other animes were mainstream in the anime circuit; BUT NOTHING EVER had the inevitable gigantic impact that Pokemon achieved.
The Pokemon franchise craze started when Satoshi Tajiri (owner of Game Freak) went to Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo God) after numerous rejections toward his idea of Pocket Monsters. With his background on working with the Legend of Zelda franchise, his idea was accepted and the first Pokemon games were made. We all remember this obviously by Versions Red, Blue and Yellow. After that, this new age RPG swept the world by storm, spawning a very popular television series and an even more popular Pokemon trading card game. Even to this day, the game has cards that can sell for a ridiculous amount of money. The Pokemon illustrator card (rare for only having six made, which were given to contest winners’ card designs) can go up to $20,000, while the ever-popular Charizard card can start from $120; Other sites claim $2,000!
But let me not get ahead of myself, let’s talk about the show. The show itself was pretty great for its time; It had a very simple slice of life feel with events developing the character and the Pokemon they owned. Many of the episodes during the first season (Kanto Region), showed the trio (Ash, Misty, Brock) going on their perilous journey to become the best of their field, while enduring battles and making sure Team Rocket blasted off again. The show started off with the excellent ever inspiring Pokemon theme and ended on that stupidly catchy Pokerap. It was bliss for my adolescent years, and it was just simply hypnotizing to get into.
In January it was announced that Pokemon TV was going to be released for the Android and iOS devices. Being an old-school Pokefan, I squealed at the thought of being able to watch old episodes of Pokemon for FREE anytime I would like. And also considering that, Game Freak, or any licensed Pokemon Company has never released any real mobile game or applications. Sure, last year they released one (that didn’t do so well), but considering the gain they could have gotten by releasing the old games or even episodes, this was a big missed opportunity to the new generation of smartphone users.
Nonetheless, Pokemon TV came out, and well…I guess it’s out. That’s pretty much all I can say at this point.
I know right? It seems very petty, but from what has been shown so far made it very clear that this was to promote thenew seasons. The application itself is really easy get into, with Wi-Fi or a data plan. You just start up the app and all the episodes are available to you in a streaming selection.
The application is divided by each of the regions shown in the show: Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, 2 special episodes, and of course my favorite: Kanto. The application is very straightforward and all it comes down to is clicking the episode.
That being said, I never realized how heavily punny the titles were. I mean “Snow Way Out”, “Clefairy Tales”, and “The Purr-fect Hero”; I gotta admit they are pretty funny now that I am older, and considering the amount of puns I use nowadays. Anyways, each region contains ten episodes each. All of which are fairly great episodes, none (to be honest) are my favorite ones. I mean I’ll give the app credit for being able to expose every season evenly, but at the same time those episodes that were very memorable aren’t exactly shown off here.
Personally, the episodes that stuck to me were the ones that made me feel sentiment to the Pokemon, and the ones that made me laugh the most. For example, the episode where Butterfree goes away into the migration pattern, brought a tear to my eye. Or even the episode when there was the Metapod fight where it was just Metapod vs. Metapod, which spawned the HARDEN meme. Okay, I guess it’s just me, but probably I just have an affinity toward Caterpie’s evolution. Despite that, there were many key episodes that could be watched (perhaps origin or Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, or the defeat of Misty and Brock) in this app to keep fans sinking in.
Another thing that was left out: THE THEME SONGS. Yeah, I bet this could sort of be redundant hearing the theme song every time you load an episode…BUT it’s the freaking Pokemon! It feels odd (perhaps because we’re used to it), because it skips straight into the title screen which makes me feel a little empty. But I can only guess, that similar to the episode problem; perhaps the songs or episodes didn’t get the licensing needed for it, or maybe they will be shown later in the year.
I will admit, that this episode does a great job showing the evolution of the show. With Ash’s new companions and the increase of animation quality; it sort of does justice to showing off the longevity of the series.
But the real question: Is this application worth getting?
And in my opinion, it is. If for any reason you are still watching the current season, or are faithfully keeping up with the games, I think it would be a great way to catch up and be exposed to the new episodes that are premiered in this application. However, if you are just a nostalgia-nut like me looking for an old-school fix, perhaps finding a way to get the first seasons is much more worthwhile than just the ten showed off here. They are great, and again, I loved how bits and pieces of other regions show contrast to each other; but considering that many believe the first season is the best…It’s probably a good idea to hold off on this unless an update allows all of them to be viewable.