What starts as a summer vacation in the tropical Alola region turns into the next exciting chapter in Ash Ketchum’s quest to become a Pokémon Master! There’s plenty for Ash and Pikachu to explore in this sunny new region, with exciting new Pokémon to discover and interesting people to learn from along the way—including the cool Professor Kukui and the fun-loving Samson Oak. More new faces will help guide Ash’s Alolan adventure, in the form of a group of skilled Trainers—Kiawe, Lana, Mallow, and Sophocles—and a mysterious research assistant called Lillie. Frequent foes Team Rocket have also made the trip to Alola, looking to swipe some high-powered new Pokémon. But they have some heavy competition on the villainy front: the ruffians of Team Skull, who delight in causing chaos and may have more sinister intentions…
Source: The Pokemon Company
I've watched most of the pokemon series, and so far this is one of my favourites for some reason. The animation is not as crisp and feels a bit more 'childish'. But that's the only negative thing really. It has more of a laid-back feeling and really relaxes me while watching. It's an easy series, you don't have to think or really follow the story. I like this to watch whilst eating or early in the morning when still a bit sleepy. It gives a positivity boost :) So it's relaxing, positive and easy entertainment. Not a complex story with multi-layered characters, but it doesn't need to have all of that always.
Note: At the moment, this anime has yet to finish; it's currently airing. So, this review is based off of what's going on so far. I've also only been watching the sub/raw version, so this review is based on that. I originally wasn't going to watch this series when I saw the drawings/designs. I had honestly been getting tired of what I felt like was the same "song and dance" with every Pokemon series based off its video game counterpart, but after someone recommended it to me, I gave it a shot. I was surprised. Story Not much here at the moment. Satoshi/Ash and his mother take a trip to the Alola region (Melemele island), where he hears about the Island Challenge. His mother lets him stay with professor Kukui as he attends the Trainer School. Thus far, there have been hints of a bigger plot, but it's mostly been misadventures of Satoshi/Ash and the (young) trial captains we know from the video games. Characters Besides the protagonist and Team Rocket, the characters we see the most are actually (what I presume to be young versions of) the trial captains who are attending Pokemon School, as well as Kukui and the Alolan Professor Oak. Specifically, we see: Suiren/Lana, Mao/Mallow, Kaki/Kiawe, and Mamane/Sophocles. They all have partners they keep with them as well (Popplio, Bounsweet, Turtonator, and Togedemaru respectfully). Lillie is also there, and though her character still seems to come from a very well off family, her personality is very different. In the anime, she's more talkative and confident on her pokemon knowledge, and has a slight weakness in that she can't seem to touch a pokemon (a fear she doesn't know how she got). Team Rocket gets some new and very interesting pokemon (particularly their first catch), as well. There's a Bewear who constantly reappears in a very comedic but lovable way. The pokemon seem to be stronger "characters" in this season, though there's potential for Lillie and the captains as well. Animation I don't usually put this in a separate category, but because of how the animation changed, I had to. To be honest, I still really dislike Satoshi/Ash's new character design, though it's not nearly as bad as Team Rocket's. Musashi/Jessie does look a little more evil with her new design, but Kojiro/James' design doesn't suit him. I actually don't have an issue with the designs and animation of ANYONE else in this anime, or any of the pokemon. It's really just Satoshi/Ash, Musashi/Jessie, and Kojiro/James whose designs look really strange and almost outlandish at times...as well as how they're animated. Everyone else is much smoother, and there are little details which haven't been there before such as how we can actually see Pikachu's fur when he runs. The animation, itself, is more fluid and moves along very well, but it seems to sacrifice some character designs to do so. Since the anime is extremely lighthearted, the new designs work well. Time will tell how well it stands up to whatever the major plot is which has been hinted at since it's hard to have super serious situations with an animation style like that (and character designs as well). Overall For light-hearted fun, this anime has it. It's definitely geared towards a younger audience, particularly with how "dance-style" the opening and exit songs are. I find these songs really catchy and well done (I've caught myself bouncing along to them in my chair), and they seem to be designed to get kids on their feet and dancing. While a light-hearted anime is certainly fun, for returning Pokemon fans, it has a few hitches and probably isn't as fun. Satoshi/Ash is back to being stupid. While it's common that he seems to forget type matchups and everything else he learns from series to series, he really went backwards in this one. I can deal with it if I think of this being a different Satoshi/Ash, because he's about at the same level as he was when the very first episode of Pokemon aired in terms of overall knowledge...he just has more battle experience. Due to the anime being so light hearted, I dread when the plot actually does kick in (as it has been hinted at with Lillie). Episodes which have been a little more on the serious side don't carry the same emotional impact as previous seasons because of the character designs (particularly Satoshi/Ash). It's hard to take a situation seriously when he looks like that. It's going to be hard to take any sort of plot seriously. A series which seems to focus on a pokemon school works well with the character designs, but it's going to be harder when the plot actually rears up (if it does). Thus far, it's been very fun and enjoyable...though Satoshi/Ash's lack of knowledge on things he should already know is a little frustrating. Granted, that's almonst always been a problem between seasons. Early on, Pikachu is soundly defeated by a wild Grubbin, so the "Pikachu seems to reset to level 1 except when dealing with Team Rocket" scenario is back. As the anime is thus far, it's great for laughs, silliness, and an occasional look at the characters. Mostly, it's just a fun experience if you can get used to the character designs for the recurring characters (Satoshi/Ash, Musashi/Jessie, and Kojiro/James). I'd suggest giving it a chance before immediately writing it off, because you might just grow to enjoy it (or, you'll hate it; there doesn't seem to be an in-between).
Pokemon is becoming like that drunk brother you keep hoping would get sober someday, but never did, so you stuck with him for years like a fool. Then one day you realize that things will never change.Even with its best season, Pokemon XY, I was still reminded constantly of just how little substance there was in the plot. It could be summed down to, "Bad things happen. Protagonist doesn't give up. The power of hope and love wins." Basically, every typical shounen plot, ever. The repetitive formula became even worse when mixed with the slow-paced slice-of-life genre in Sun & Moon, a genre which doesn't work for many people, myself included. Do note that I'm not saying shounen anime in itself is bad; it just so happens to not be the kind of anime I could enjoy or tolerate any longer. Pokemon Sun & Moon sees our never-aging protagonist, Ash Ketchum, landing in yet another new region, Alola. He meets new friends and Pokemon, but this time, he's no longer pursuing his childhood dream of "being the best that no one ever was," and instead chooses to settle for a more peaceful school life full of hijinks and quirky comedic antics. Basically the perfect plot for 7 year olds. So don't be mistaken - Pokemon is essentially a show for kids, now more than ever. In spite of its TWO episodes with more mature themes (which are still family-friendly parables designed to teach children about the meaning of death anyway), it's not really the "darker and grittier" kind of show some have exaggerated. It's Pokemon, a shounen show where the power of friendship triumphs over logic. Whereas the previous seasons had the excuse of being entertaining with its more fast-paced battle scenes, those moments are now few and far between, replaced by cutesy moments of Ash and his friends fooling around with whatever Pokemon they wish to market for the day. Basically your average filler episode of Pokemon filled up to 90% of the season.The characters are written decently enough, but I didn't watch Pokemon for some deeply complex characters; I watched it for the epic fight scenes that were once prevalent in XY. Decent and functional character writing just isn't good enough to cut it for my entertainment. Most of the characters are written in such a way as to teach about familial bonds and not giving up in the face of failure anyway; basically your average shounen moral lessons for 7 year olds. They are characters designed to educate children about the most generic and basic form of humanity, the kind that have been seen many times over in thousands of other shounen anime. Unless you're some Pokemon superfan, you'd find yourself spending your time much better watching far more quality and original writing elsewhere.
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