***THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW***
Heads up: This is not a review for just the first season of XY; it's a full review for all of XY.
Pokemon XY has done the impossible for me. It has somehow reignited the fire inside me for watching Pokemon. Once the Diamond and Pearl episodes were finished, I lost pretty much all desire to watch anything Pokemon related (since the Pokemon Adventures manga is 10000x better). What got me back into Pokemon though was the sheer amount of reputable YouTubers stating that “Pokemon is back!”
Got to say, I was not expecting to be drawn in by the story of these new seasons. I had watched a small bit of Best Wishes! which made me want to gouge my eyes and ears out. I was expecting sort of the same with XY but I was pleasantly surprised at what I ended up seeing. I think the inclusion of Serena was the reason why I was so invested in this season. She had the fire of May and the Charm of Dawn (two things that really has not been present in a character of Pokemon). The show did a great job of pointing out that the show isn't just about Ash; it's about all the supporting cast. The best part of the show though is by far the ending. The stuff revolving around the Pokemon League is top notch and that ending...dat a boy. The only thing that has me worried about the ending to the show is of course what we have been shown so far for the next season...ugh.
This is the best that Pokemon has ever looked. The dialogue scenes still look a little stiff but those battle scenes...omg dude. The battles take on a whole new level of quality and polish that I did not expect to see in Pokemon (or a fair number of other long running shows). The characters look pretty good even it Ash still looks like he 10. I was also impressed by a fair number of the background shots in the show. This region looks very lush and detailed. It is such a shame that the newest season of Pokemon is going to change the animation and artstyle so drastically. I feel like what was done in this season was the best compromise that could had been achieved for Pokemon.
To this day I do not understand why they push the voices so fucking loud in the overall mix. Ever since Best Wishes the characters just sound so loud. It is so detrimental that I had a hard time marathoning the show due to getting actual headaches from watching it. Ash and Bonnie were the worst offenders here, just tone it down a little bit please. The music is pretty good but the show suffers from that long season blues which is recycling music over and over again.
It's a mixed bag here. Ash is still annoying as hell due to how oblivious he is. Bonnie I want to fall off of a cliff. Her brother Clemont is annoying but provides a lot of great scenes later on. The champion of the show though is of course Serena. She is probably the most fleshed out main character I have seen thus far in Pokemon. She has desires, past memories that shape who she is, and isn't the typical 100% always happy female lead that's just there to get the man guy going. I think it was brilliant to include the backstory of her having respect for Ash from such a young age. When she sees Ash again for the first time in years, I genuinely starting giggling like a school girl. She is the best part of this series and I really wish she would pull a Brock and stick around for multiple zones. Seeing her descend down that escalator in her final scene (how about that scene though :O) was truly heart breaking.
Pokemon is absolutely back. This season was by far the best I had seen for a long time (still not Indigo level but it was close at some points). I strongly recommend you follow this list in order to cut down on unnecessary filler episodes. It will make the watching experience much better. If you were like me and thought Pokemon was just not worth the effort any longer then please give this one a shot. It genuinely had me on my toes in many situations.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!