I’ve been watching the short-form anime series Pokemon Generations as it’s been airing. As we’re 4 episodes in, I decided to share some quick reviews of the episodes as well as the videos so you too can enjoy this experience with me. Yes, it’s enjoyable. Let’s jump in.
Episode 1 – The Adventure – Episode one is a very fast romp through every single Pokemon video game generation. They fly through every single region as though Red is the one hanging out, fighting, searching, catching Pokemon with his trusty Pikachu. Once again, we’re given the Pokemon Generations version of Pokemon where they make animal noises instead of say their names. The battles are fast and plowed through really quickly. All in all, the episode was just a taste of what was to come. It wasn’t bad, but felt less like a first episode of something bigger than a demo of what the show could be like. Still enjoyed it.
Episode 2 – The Chase – Episode 2 gives us our first real side story. This time, it’s showing a SWAT Team force going after Team Rocket. Yes, really. The entire tale is told primarily from the police’s perspective as they’re on the trail of Rocket’s leader Giovanni. They recently shut down most Team Rocket activity and you watch as they try to get members of Team Rocket to talk. Their obsessive support of Giovanni is on display; the cult of personality he had over them is fascinating to watch and really comparable to a real world cult leader. They had only recently realized that he was serving as a Pokemon Gym Leader in Kanto and were ready to storm the Gym. Following the cops and how Pokemon would be interconnected in the police force similar to police dogs (only more intense, cause…you know, they’re Pokemon), is fantastic to see. Seeing the police storm into the Pokemon Gym, searching through the building felt like such a more realistic take on the cartoonish Pokemon world we’re used to in the traditional Pokemon anime. I want more of this.
Episode 3 – The Challenger – Everyone loves to hate Gary/Blue Oak. This episode follows Blue as he plows his way through the Elite Four and becomes the Indigo League Champion. You get a taste of each member of the Elite Four’s personality and also a great glimpse into the mentality of Blue. He’s in it to be the strongest trainer there is and, he’s so arrogant. For most of the episode, you see why he justifies his arrogance, he’s a great trainer with incredibly strong Pokemon. You see him playing mental games with the members of the Elite Four and the respect his Pokemon give him. He’s not a monster, he’s just a young man who knows what he wants and knows what he’s good at. Oh, and he’s good. The portions of each battle on display are brief, but enjoyable to watch. Loved seeing this run from Blue’s perspective.
Episode 4 – The Lake of Rage – This episode follows Lance as he goes after some Team Rocket holdouts in Johto. He starts off seeing the shiny/red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage, then he tracks down Team Rocket to shut down their underground lab and work to free their kidnapped Electrodes. We also see Lance’s Dragonite on full display, scorching his enemies (human and Pokemon alike) in their path. It’s a brutal assault on Rocket’s headquarters and a grittier appearance from the at times goofy looking dragon-type Pokemon. The episode moves at a fast clip as you follow Lance through his investigation and take down of Team Rocket. It was a fun episode and I loved the pacing. The story of the shiny Gyarados at the Lake of Rage is a great one in the game, seeing it fleshed out on the screen was fun.
I plan to continue to do episodic reviews of the episodes on Mondays after they air (generally on Fridays), but a bit more detailed in future discussions as I’ll just hit one episode at a time. Remember – you can watch all of them for free on the Pokemon YouTube channel.