Home > anime, Entertainment > Nostalgia Corner (Pokemon Part 2- An indepth and Personal look into the Anime)

Nostalgia Corner (Pokemon Part 2- An indepth and Personal look into the Anime)

Last time I wrote about the origins of the first Pokemon games, as well as the accredited spin off manga Pokemon Adventures. This time I want to delve into the official anime that almost all of us would have watched sometime, or still continue to watch this very day.

Currently the Pokemon Anime has a whopping ‘787 main episodes and 16 movies’ (Bulbapdedia) to its name, this is an incredible number for a single series, however if we look back to my first post, as well as other articles, you can see the reason why. Essentially the Pokemon Anime spawned as a massive cash grab for Nintendo, and after so many episodes and movies, it still is.

That put aside though, I can’t say that there was a point when I didn’t look forward to waking up early in the morning to catch the latest episode of Pokemon or ‘Pokebomb’ as my six year old self would say, the anime gave me, as a child, a great source of entertainment, Ash had so many great adventures with Brock and Misty, and Charizard was just a beast all round, so with that said lets get into a breakdown of the actual anime itself.

Pokemon could be broken down into four main series. The original series, which took Ash and friends through the Kanto and Johto region, The Advanced Generation series, which took them through the Hoenn region, The Diamond and Pearl series, which took them through the Sinnoh region, and finally the Best Wishes Series, which takes Ash and friends through the Unova region.

Notice that I only Mentioned Ash and Friends in the above paragraph, this is because characters tend to come and go in Pokemon, most likely a ploy by Nintendo to give children a message that friends come and go, however it shouldn’t mean that they can’t make new ones.

The anime utilised most of the features from the original games, however there were a few features that were strictly only part of the anime world of Pokemon.

The first is that of the actual Pokeball itself. In the games, in particular Pokemon G/S/C we can see that the Pokeballs split into two parts and attempt to catch Pokemon that way. However in the anime the Pokeball is joined at the ends, it is a very minor difference but nonetheless it is still a difference.

How the Pokeball works in the Animesource Bulbapedia

How the Pokeball works in the Anime
source Bulbapedia

How the Pokeball works in G/S/C

How the Pokeball works in G/S/C

In the Pokemon Anime Ash encounters areas that were non-existent in the game, one that stands out is the Orange Archipelago. This is the region Ash goes to prior to his journey in the Johto region, in which Ash participates in the Orange League.

Which brings me to our next difference. The Pokemon League in the game is essentially an area where the player can battle the strongest players of the land known as the Elite 4. To enter this place, the player must have collected eight gym badges, this is the only way one can enter. However in the anime, the Pokemon league is changed to a tournament, there are two ways of entering the Pokemon League in the anime. The first is by collecting at least eight gym badges, and the second is by passing a Pokemon League entrance exam, as seen in the episode ‘The Ultimate Test‘.

Now you might be thinking why I underlined ‘at least’ in the last paragraph, well this is because it leads us to our next and most peculiar difference between the game and the anime. In the game there are 8 gyms in each region, except the Kanto region, where there is a 9th gym in Saffron City, however this gym does not give you a badge. The anime sort of builds on the concept of that 9th gym, and takes it to the next level.

In the anime there are many gyms in each region, however not all are officially recognised by the Pokemon League, that is anyone has the right to start up a gym, but without recognition, their gym badges are not accredited as gym badges in the eyes of the Pokemon League. Both of these points can be examined in the anime in the Dark City episode, and by observing Gary Oak acquiring ten Gym badges.

In terms of the movies I can only remember the first three, since they were the ones I grew up with, and there really isn’t much that I can say about them, except that when 4Kids does a dubbing job, they really make a bad job of it. Basically  there are some parts of the story in the movies which go unexplained or ‘full retard’ when dubbed by 4Kids.

The last thing I want to mention about the anime is the controversy around some early episodes, which led to bans and censorship. Very briefly the episode Electric Soldier Porygon was released in Japan, it had a scene where it flashed very bright blue and red lights, and put many Japanese children in hospital as they suffered from seizures.  As a result the anime was banned for quite a long period of time, and the episode wasn’t aired ever again.

The legend of Dratini was banned outside of Japan due to extensive gun use, in particular aiming and shooting at people. As a consequence the large amount of Tauros Ash caught in the safari zone was never explained outside of Japan. The Episode Beauty at the beach got a censorship due to the use of large breasts on a Male character, this was deemed inappropriate for Pokemon’s audience and hence censored in its English release.

Finally the last major controversial episode is the Ice cave. Reasons for this episode being banned after Japanese release is due to the colouration of Jynx, ie. Jynx was coloured black originally, but due to racist accusations and pressure on Nintendo, the episode was dropped, and Jynx was recoloured to purple.

Original Jynx before being changed to purple source http://images.wikia.com/pokemon/images/d/d4/JynxAppearanceJL134.png

Original Jynx before being changed to purple source http://images.wikia.com/pokemon/images/d/d4/JynxAppearanceJL134.png

Well that’s it for this Pokemon Nostalgia corner, hope you learned something new about the anime, and Pokemon Universe in general.

Till Next time.

  1. LawReadyForThis
    April 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    This was a great read, really enjoyed it. I think Nintendo has realised that not many people are liking the new episodes of the Anime and are trying to bring back old elements from the Kanto and Jhoto seasons in an effort to bring back old fans, i mean why else after all this time would Mewtwo be brought back, we never heard back from him after his movies but now all of a sudden he makes his return. The same could be said for Charizard except he is now a permanent part of Ash’s team. Either way its nice to see Nintendo getting it together and showing the old fans some appreciation.

    • May 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Couldn’t agree more in that respect, however I feel as though they are almost pushing the old fans away with the new generation games.

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