Pocket Monsters or “Pokemon” is a children’s animated series hailing all the way from Japan. I never really grasped the point of the Pokemon series. Me being in my mid-twenties, I can say that Pokemon is a pretty pointless animated series. But then again, it’s drawn in so many kids. Though I’m not much of a Pokemon fan, I can say that Pokemon is a franchise that should not be underestimated.
I remember the original dubbed series with the first episode of the main character from the Pokemon anime series and the games, Ash Ketchum who aspires to be the great Pokemon master of all time. The first series revolved around Ash and his Pokemon companion Pikachu who is always on the receiving end of numerous failed kidnapping attempts at the hands of two members of Team Rocket known as Jesse and James whom always arrive with their phrases such as “denounce the evils of truth and love.”
I have to admit that it was creative making two characters from the name of Jesse James. In another Pokemon series, Jesse and James are replaced by two other Team Rocket operatives known as Butch and Cassidy derived from Butch Cassidy.
The premise of Pokemon is that Ash with his Pokedex goes around the world to discover all the various Pokemon. At the same time, he battles gym leaders to be able to get into the Pokemon League. To be a Pokemon master, Ash has to get into the lead. Then he picks up companions in the name of Misty and Brock, two gym leaders Ash had defeated in earlier episodes of the first season of Pokemon. Ash has to defeat the gym leaders and obtain the necessary badges to get into the tournament where he can win league membership.
Subliminally, they press the importance of a good night’s rest. Everybody goes to sleep at nighttime, especially the heroes and the villains. It’s not a requirement but it’s a recommendation that everybody in the series follows. There was one episode in the first season where they introduced Jigglypuff that puts people to sleep by its serene voice. Misty wanted to catch Jigglypuff but constantly fell asleep under its song. It was in a city that never sleeps and it shows how people get grouchy and angsty when they don’t have a good night’s rest. Jigglypuff put them to sleep, the rest is history.
The writers put every little jab here and there such as friendship, proper hygiene, caring for your Pokemon, not mistreating your Pokemon, getting a good night’s rest, and so forth. Before the series came out to the United States, they released two Pokemon games for the original Gameboy: “Pokemon: Red” and “Pokemon: Blue”. Their slogan was “gotta catch em’ all!” That same slogan still plays an integral part to the Pokemon franchise.
Then they released Pokemon games for the various Nintendo consoles. I remember Pikachu was a playable character in the first Super Smash Brothers game for the Nintendo 64. Then released a whole slew of Pokemon games. My cousin was so excited when he got “Pokemon Snap” from his dad. It’s one of Nintendo’s most powerful franchises. Pokemon is a media franchise under Nintendo’s control which is why all the Pokemon games are strictly for Nintendo game consoles.
In the past, Pokemon was played on the WB after school on weekdays and on Saturday mornings. Now, Pokemon can be watched on Cartoon Network. Pokemon may still be part of the weekday afternoon Miguzi block on Cartoon Network. Then there were other series that acted as continuations such as “Pokemon: Adventures in the Orange Islands”, “Pokemon: Johto Journeys”, “Pokemon: Johto League Champions,” and “Pokemon: Master Quest.”
The series are based on the various Pokemon games. “Pokemon: Advanced”, “Pokemon: Advanced Challenge”, “Pokemon: Advanced Battle” are three new series coming out that are based on the Pokemon games for the Nintendo Wii and the DS.
Pokemon has released several successful movies. The trading card company known as Wizards of the Coast known for Magic The Gathering made a very good move getting the publishing rights to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Pokemon is still a popular card game amongst kids.
Though Pokemon has a cutness complex that makes me sick to the core, I have to acknowledge that it’s a good anime series for children to watch though it can get pretty stupid and repetitive to watch. There is no denying that Nintendo has done a good job with an ongoing anime series that has kids constantly drawn.