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Looking back at the Pokemon anime

From the late 1990s to early 2000s, the Kids WB block on the WB channel became a Saturday Morning/weekday afternoon powerhouse of animated shows, and just in time for the Pok'emon craze of the late 90s, the anime was brought over alongside the U.S. releases of the games. But what makes it different from those games, and what was my experience watching it growing up? Well, continue reading and we'll jump right in.

The anime follows the main character, Ash Ketchum as he sets out to become a Pok'emon master, the best of the best in Pok'emon trainers, and making two friends (two of the gym leaders from his island, Kanto) as he makes his progress.

For those unfamiliar with the games, Ash is not the same protagonist from the original Game Boy games.


What really sets apart the anime from the manga is the adventures happening in the series, Ash and company may stumble upon new characters, such as a scientist trying to figure out the connection with Clefairy and the mysterious moon stone, or Ash bidding a farewell to a Pok'emon that wants to be free. Most of these scenarios you don't even see happening in the games at all as they're exclusive to the show.

Although it was easy bringing the anime stateside, there were a few missteps along the way, having certain episodes either needing edited footage, or being taken out altogether for certain reasons. For an example, one episode had Ash and friends going to a vacation resort, and one of the male antagonists of the show (belonging to the villainous group, Team Rocket) cross-dresses in a bikini, and having inflatable breasts. I won't bother sharing an image of that here, but I'm sure curiosity will lead to finding it.

One episode that was banned globally had a background of flashing colors, causing epilepsy for many viewers, the less said about it, the better.


Of course with the popularity of the anime and games, we would eventually get to see the first movie one year later in theaters. If you thought the franchise wasn't already being promoted enough, Nintendo Power was advertising it, along with the fast food chain, Burger King having its own toys based on it. 

This would be the first time too, in receiving exclusive trading cards upon admission of getting a seat at the theater. Cards were randomly chosen by admission and were based on the Pok'emon seen in the movie, such as Dragonite and Mewtwo.

The movie followed the genetically cloned Pok'emon, Mewtwo as he tries to figure out his existence with humanity. However he's very unsettled with the environment, and wants his own Pok'emon clones.


As the years followed with more mainline Pok'emon games, the anime kept going forward, and so did more movies based on it. But as we got into the years of the Game Boy Advance I was actually kind of starting to lose interest in the anime. Ash's former friends, Misty and Brocker were gone and now replaced, even though the charm of the show was still kind of there.

It's funny I should mention too, around the time of this new season of the anime, there was a short lived product for the GBA called "Game Boy Advance Video", a series of light gray GBA cartridges that had two episodes of a show each on them, and that recent season of Pok'emon was featured in the series as well.

The Game Boy Advance Video series was an interesting way to watch videos before the iPod came along, but the video and audio were very compressed to fit on the cartridge.


Even today the anime is going strong, but it just doesn't have the same impact to me as it once had those years ago. What are your memories of watching the Pok'emon anime? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!

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Mr Magic Posted on Nov 10, 2020 at 09:07 PM

I still have to watch Advanced Challenge! To say I'm far behind is a gross understatement lol

Benjanime Posted on Nov 09, 2020 at 09:47 PM

there was certainly something magical about how much of a fad the pok'emon series was for a while during these times, seeing other kids in school showing off their trading cards, witnessing others in shopping malls trading their creatures from the game boy games, and just huddling around the tv to watch the show, there wasn't a better time to be ready for the new millennium ^^ thanks always for your kind compliments, my love julie ❤

Julie Posted on Nov 09, 2020 at 09:43 PM

For me, the Pokémon times marked the late 90s and early 2000s. I was fascinated when I had my first cartridge, Pokémon Yellow, as my first Game Boy Color game. I'm still a fan of the charismatic and cute series. ❤

I sporadically watched the anime and that only increased the hype and the desire to play the game on the Game Boy Color. The same happened with my Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. I have the 3DS and Nintendo Switch versions but I haven't started playing them yet, but I'm sure I will like them and will want to reach the end. By the way, I still have the game save with two level 100 Mew for Pokémon Yellow. It's worth revisiting sometimes. Thanks very much for the charismatic and very well written article: one more of your admirable talents. ❤

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