Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pokemon Origins (TV Series) Review

When I was in elementary school, I remember the original season of the Pokemon anime cartoon. I loved it as a kid, I even remember getting a few issues of the Pokemon manga comic book as well. But the Pokemon anime is and has always been fairly cheesy and very simple. And somewhere in the early 2000's I stopped caring to keep up with it. I noticed Pokemon Origins the other day which is more faithful to the original game. But I thought it was strange to have this one as a TV show as the Pokemon anime with Ash Ketchum still exists. It's not really a TV show, in Japan it was a made-for-TV movie made in 2013 to get people hyped up for Pokemon X/Y for the Nintendo 3DS. The American version separates it into four episodes. I had initially only wanted to see a little of it out of mere curiosity but after such a rush of nostalgia I figured I'd stay for the whole thing. 
The story is pretty much the whole events of Pokemon Red and Blue. Instead of Ash Ketchum, the hero is Red whom Ash Ketchum was originally based on. Just like Ash and Red, Gary Oak is really Blue Oak in this one. And thankfully Jesse and James of Team Rocket are non-existent in this one. Just like the game itself Red gets to pick one Pokemon (not a Pikachu) from Professor Oak and he picks Charmander. Blue picks Squirtle merely because he's a jerk and wants the advantage over Red. Professor Oak tells them to go out and complete the Pokedex and find all 150 Pokemon out there in the world. You later realize how dumb everyone in Kanto is about Pokemon. The extremely nearby Johto has another 150 that nobody ever knew about mere miles away.   
But just like the game Ash Ketchum... I mean Red has to go around all over the Kanto region to find every single Pokemon. And Red also has to visit every gym leader and get all the badges by the time he's done. But first he'll have to learn what it means to be a Pokemon trainer. It doesn't mean they are tools, it's not about glory, but rather about friendship. And Red will have to remind some other trainers along the way about that as well. But he'll have to face the notorious Team Rocket and its leader Giovanni who wish to do very evil things to the world and they don't mind using Pokemon to do so. 
Pokemon Origins was about as I had expected. A decent tale about the adventure millions played in the late 1990's. The game had a lot of plot to cover so a lot of the gym encounters are told like they were just quick flashbacks in this TV show/movie. It was interesting to see a Pokemon anime a lot more faithful to the game than the actual anime series ever was. While it won't wow anyone from the original generation of real-life Pokemon trainers, now that a good chunk of them have their own kids it's a good way to show them the original generation of Pokemon. While I still enjoy the sequels, the original 150 (plus Mew of course) were always the best. 

Score: B-

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