Pokemon Origins (2013) Review: The Best Thing to Happen to Pokemon in Too Long

Ash Ketchums
90’s Ash Ketchum meets his future self

It makes me sad to think kiddies today grew up in the land of the Pokemon Advanced (series 6) and beyond, where the series threw away all its most cherished characters and became truly redundant. The 1998 phenomenon is now clocking in at 16 seasons and 820 episodes, beating The Simpsons by 300. The majority of fans consider the adventures of Ash in the Indigo, Orange Islands and Johto regions the best of the series among the first handful of films and the Pokemon Chronicles (2006) episodes. These ditch Ash as the main character and go on side stories with other characters or interesting Pokemon. The animation of the original series is dated, Ash somehow got stupider, the story flaws are more obvious, but Misty, Brock and Team Rocket keep it entertaining, in small doses. The films stand up in time more than the series in terms of technical merit. Despite its age, Pokemon still has its charm.

It goes without saying that Pokemon’s popularity has shifted enormously and ever declining. Firstly game sales have shrunk from the whopping 31.37 million of Red & Blue to 8.86 million of X & Y. Most of the original fans now express their love through the games, the Pokemon Adventures manga and cuddle various Pokemon plushies (I know you have one). In September this year YouTube producer Kurt Hugo Schneider created a dubstep version of the first opening song, proof that Pokemon nostalgia is not in fear of dying.

In 2006 any chance of reclaiming the original fans was brutally murdered with 4Kids decision to recast the english dub cast from Season 9 onwards. Out of frustration many fans, even a staff member on the Serebii.net website contacted the original voice actors for some insight, and were promptly responded to.

“Pokémon USA has decided that it’s too expensive to use 4Kids and the actors that have made Pokémon the TV show such a success for the last 10 years. They have ‘behind our backs’ re-cast the show with ‘sound-a-likes’ to try to save money. They actually believe the fans don’t care. […] To change now, on the last season, based on greed is a sad example of what big business kids marketing really is.” – Eric “Brock & James” Stuart

The new dub was absolutely horrendous, miscast and badly acted. The only thing it succeeded to do was to make ears bleed, and give Ash a badly needed voice drop, who should be 16 years old by now. It made the otherwise flashy films like Giratina & The Sky Warrior (2008) unwatchable. It’s a dying shame that the films or the television series under the power of TAJ Productions still don’t contain a Japanese version. Even though it has some of the worst dub voices ever (matched only by Urusei Yatsura), fans still watching the series claim the new series have introduced some interesting characters. Dawn, apparently beats May and Max anyway. Season 12 Galatic Battles also brought along the best Pokemon Opening song since the very first: Battle Cry. Well done, miss Erin Bowman!

Bring on Pokemon Origins (2013)

Pokemon Origins
Red and Blue recite dialogue from the games.

Pokemon Origins makes it clear from the first shot that it is targetting the nostalgia crowd with the shot of a Gameboy screen. Origins came out along X & Y late 2013. There were thousands of fangasms at the release of this trailer alone, but how does it stand up in terms of piece of entertainment? Origins is divided into a measly four episodes which limits its potential in terms of the writing, but it is fast paced and has an end, unlike Pokemon itself. Origins receives brownie points for this fact alone.

The animation is a step up from the television show but it doesn’t match the likes of the films like Mewtwo Strikes Back. The character designs more closely resemble Digimon Adventure in terms of eyes and body proportions. The Pokemon look the same as ever and the backgrounds colors match the style of that in the show. The series exceeds in its smooth animation and depiction of complicated movement, especially in battle scenes. This is where the fun factor comes in, besides Red being a lot sharper in the head than Ash Ketchum. A strange addition is Gameboy or even Pokemon Stadium graphics here and there with health bars and dialogue rectangles. Without a doubt the aesthetics are the strongest aspect of this mini-series, even though it doesn’t match the height of anime in general like the fight scenes in Sword Art Online (2012).

The background music are melodies from the game but they are ramped up with a full orchestra and lots of violins. It sounds fantastic and adds to the atmosphere a great deal, even if the writing is questionable. There are no opening or ending songs to speak of, although an english dub was produced very quickly. It is extremely weird to watch familiar characters with different voices yet again. The strongest performance by far is Bryce Papenbrook (Kirito in SAO) as the earnest Red. Professor Oak by multi talented Kyle Hebert took a little while to get used to, and Brock is laughable as Johnny Yong Bosch (LeLouch from Code Geass). The acting sounds more natural than the replacement dub for Pokemon.

Pokemon Origins fails in the writing. Origins summarises the entire 8-badges and elite four arc at high-speed, with plenty of montages and terrible expository dialogue which is straight from the game. The characters are as thin as paper as there’s literally no room to expand on their personalities outside some cool Pokemon fights. Red is just cool because he’s not as stupid as Ash to ask “What Pokemon is that?” every time he sees something, and coming up with rash, naive ideas. This probably couldn’t have been avoided considering its length, but perhaps a different approach could have been used. After all, I don’t want a second series of Pokemon running along the one that already exists so I am happy to get a taster of this story.

The biggest flaw of Origins is that it doesn’t show us the journey Red goes to reach his destination. We don’t see his struggles or the friends he makes, only his greatest achievements. What made the first series of Pokemon great were the explorations of friendship and conflict between the characters. It could have worked better to pick a Red-only story arc and explore it in a four episode time frame. Origins is by no means a replacement for season one but it is entertaining, something Pokemon haven’t done for me in years. Even as a flawed production, Origins achieves something fresh and different in the franchise which is a breath of fresh air. Now, the only thing left for them to do is finish the story. Amen.

Rating:

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Female University student. 24 years old. I have been writing about anime since I was 15 and it looked far worse than this.
Edited by Misagh, Spencer.

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59 Comments

  1. Courtney Fuller
    0

    I absolutely love this movie. Way better than what the mainline TV series has become.

  2. God, this takes me back. I spent so much time playing Red/Blue version. I had every Pokemon, every TM/HM, spent so much time raising my team. And even then Mewtwo was a pain in the ass to catch. The only time I got disappointed while watching this is when they brought the Mega stones into the equation, but even though the end was a bit of a letdown this is still one of my favorite Pokemon movies.

  3. Justin Wu

    As someone who grows up playing Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow on Gameboy (do kids today know what it is, anyway?), I’m quite excited about the idea of bringing the original idea of Pokemon back to screen, even though I didn’t have time to watch the series yet. From what I’ve heard though, it is more based on what the Gameboy version is like and not the anime that we’ve all watched, so it sounds like a refreshing idea to me and hence I don’t really mind if there isn’t much friendship-building stuff since, well, I don’t see much of that in the Gameboy either.

    On side note, for any Pokemon fan who wants to see Red being awesome and not the, sorry fans, idiotic Ash, I strongly recommend reading the manga ‘Pokemon Adventures’. In it Red starts with Poliwhirl and Bulbasaur, and then other pokemons like Pikachu along his journey. The first few volumes are just extremely entertaining. It pales a bit after entering the Gold/Silver saga, but it’s still worth a read.

    • Jordan

      Awesome. I have heard good things about the manga too. So it’s worth reading the Red/Blue section only?

      • Justin Wu

        The Red/Blue section is the very best, then it also has an original ‘Yellow’ arc that features an original character, but is equally entertaining as well. The Gold/Silver is alright, though I don’t recommend those afterwards that much. Fire Red/Leaf Green, a continuation of the story of Red/Blue/Gold/Silver saga, is alright, though I don’t quite like the art after they’ve changed the artist.

  4. alvarado
    0

    i think this is better than anime reasons: you can’t keep fucking up the main character for every season (ash), red dosn’t get followed by nearly every fucking person, and team rocket isn’t always after the main heroes pokemon (ash’s pikachu) and mewtwo’s a badass

  5. This movie felt very cheesy as it was like step by step of the original games they Even included those little detail such as the ghost hand on his shoulder. The film didn’t feel right to me tbh but it was still good as long as I keep my inner PokeNerd Locked up and just enjoy it for what it is.

  6. Best pokemon Movie I have ever seen.
    Voice acting was rather good as well. I think Red should have had a deeper voice but still all in all really good. Still doesn’t explain why the trainers don’t have fathers ^^”
    (Aside from R/S/E that is )

  7. When I first heard about this, I was super excited about it. Pokemon has seriously gone down hill for me, so this seemed new and improved, almost.

  8. I personally thought the Mewtwo battle really didn’t need the Megacharizard X reveal, since it was more or less a plug for X & Y, but it’s understandable. The pacing wasn’t really a very large issue for me, since it seemed to be purely a nostalgia trip for older fans.

  9. Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

    Pokemon is still so popular among kids today, yet it is so different from the authentic 1998 show. To reintroduce Pokemon as it was originally is really exciting!

  10. Opaaaal
    0

    I dunno I thought this was great though for some reason I kept picturing super effective comic throughout the story. Just made me laugh. Though this adaptation way more awesome to the origionals kinda wish they did it that with ash story. And also love the idea for charizard evolve though made me think of Pokemon lake wish they would make a serious game with Pokemon lake idea combining Pokemon and the sorts would be epic

  11. Dale Barham

    I adored Pokemon when I was younger. I played the games up until Sapphire I think. I got older and stopped playing but I bought a Nintendo DS not long ago to catch up during a fit of nostalgia and found that the series had indeed declined, both in the programming and the games. I would love the show to come back fighting, but I think its fallen too far from grace now.

    Great article though!

  12. Even at 20 years old in college living it up, this movie gave me goosebumps and made me feel like a kid again. I absolutely loved this movie. It was totally worth the watch!They should have made this into an anime series than continue with the current Pokemon series.

  13. Ivan

    I’ve been meaning to watch ‘Origins’ for quite some time. I have heard the movie is a breath of fresh air for fans of Pokemon. For fans of the show, we have seen a trainer in Ash, who we love, absolutely show little to no growth as a character or a trainer. The thing is it is not Ash’s fault. The direction the shows producers and creators take him is one set up for failure. Fans want to see him finally be champion and marry Misty, haha.

    We do not want him to level up his pokemon to their final forms, only to see the show ‘reset’ in another region. We get it. They’re supposed to bring in fresh viewers, but Pokemon, as you mentioned is losing momentum and viewership.

    Pokemon needs an injection of something new to bring in new and old people. They need to deviate from the tried and true formula. I am excited for ‘Origins’. Thanks for writing this piece. The subject matter hit home for many of us because Pokemon grew up with us and still lives in us today.

    Plus, wouldn’t it be so cool if the Pokemon world was a real thing?

  14. Shawn G...
    0

    They need to make an actual show out of every Pokemon game not just a little four part series but this was absolutely amazing.

  15. jkudzm1

    I honestly love Pokemon Origins and the way that it’s done. I like your article and your obvious background in the Pokemon universe. I still remember waking up every Saturday morning to watch Pokemon when I was a kid so Origins is a really get canon to the original series. I do hope they work to expand on it.

    • Jordan

      Thanks, I didn’t think my knowledge was that expansive compared to every other Pokemon fan. I’m glad you liked the article though.

  16. It is a shame that they couldn’t expand on Red’s character anymore than they did. What’s funny about all of this is that the original Pokemon show was supposed to be about Red’s ascension and his coming of age into the Red we see in the games. But when they aired the first season of Pokemon, the audience enjoyed Ash so much, they just kept it like that for monetary purposes. Origins was just a blast from the past.
    Great review by the way.

  17. I agree with the point that the plot was rushed over the four episode run. I have to say that the relationship between Ash and Giovanni was extremely well done. The games always seemed a bit flat with Giovanni’s decision to disband team rocket, and this series gave that moment a real window to express the emotions that the games couldn’t quite capture.

  18. gabriellevw

    Thanks for this! I had no idea this had been released. Hopefully, now that I have a concrete idea of what to expect I will enjoy it for what it is without getting overly excited.

  19. I thought Pokemon Origins was fantastic. The call backs to the original games were highly appreciated, and I liked how you got more out of it if you played the games. Giovanni was my favorite character of the series, they managed to flesh him out pretty well. Blue was also great, as he was just as irritating as he was when I was a kid. Lastly, the pokemon battles were beautifully animated and had a real sense of tension.

    My only qualm with the mini-series was there were only four episodes, I feel like there should’ve been six. I would’ve liked to see Red face off against the Elite Four and also visit the Pokemon Mansion on Cinnabar Island so there would be some forshadowing to the Mewtwo showdown.

  20. Good article- I’m glad I’m not the only one who was harshly critical of Origins! But at the same time I really enjoyed it- ALL the nostalgic feels, even if they were all jam packed into four episodes!

    • Jordan

      Yes I enjoyed it too. It’s great as a Pokemon thing, but it, like many a anime isn’t perfect. Glad you enjoyed the article

  21. I understand your criticism I suppose. I too, like many other Pokémon fans, have a deep love for the first few generations of Pokémon. I for one loved the Pokémon Origins series and how it brought the present generations as well as bringing older generations of Pokémon fans back to the “origins” of the Pokémon franchise AS WELL as paving the way for the 6th generation, X & Y.

    Perhaps we, as the generation who grew up with Pokémon, are expecting the new Pokémon generations and series to be too similar to the the first generation. I agree, Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, etc. will forever remain in our hearts, but Pokémon are Pokémon and I love Pokémon.

    Whatever the company is doing, Pokémon is still going strong. Even if the games go bad, even if the series crashes in the long run, I will keep buying and watching until the very end.

    • Jordan

      You’re very dedicated. 🙂 I have seen a few episodes from the seasons with Dawn and they are pretty good. I just couldn’t stand the new English dub

  22. This was an extremely well done series compared to the current state of the normal Pokemon series, and I’d really love for them to do this with Gold and Silver, and maybe even include the awesome Gold vs. Red fight at the very end.

  23. Pokemon is a revolutionary brand-name. They will never stop outputting more and more games and television shows for the younger audience because Pokemon has become so big. The production of a nostalgic series has definitely caught the attention of viewers and customers of all ages. Proving to have made a sound step, Pokemon should be should expected to continue their series with such a live fan-base.

  24. I think this was an awesome article about the subtle and drastic differences in the Pokémon series throughout the years.

  25. As sad as it is to say (not to fall under any bandwagon because I have many good reasons), but 4Kids is responsible for many a shows integral degradation. Think about that for a moment.
    In light for the points brought up by Jordan in the article, 4Kids actions in replacing the original voice cast “behind their backs” is evidence enough in their desire only to make and save money rather than stay true to a shows true essences, its integrity, its characters (and their voice actors) the story, the mechanics of the story and the meaning that is behind and drawn from them.
    Call me a traditionalist/idealist if you must, but I do not apologize for these values and principles. I have watch the Pokemon series since I was a child and literally grow up with it. From there I was on and off with the show and the games around Gen 3 (ruby/sapphire/Emerald) and returned about gen 4 and have stayed. But as I came back, myself and my friends (fellow Pokemon enthusiasts) have had and still do many conversations regarding the stagnate and sorry “progression” of the story in the show and lack of one in the games (barring Gen 5 which had a glimpse of hope) but falls short again in X and Y.
    Point being, Pokemon Origins was a happy return to the beginning of what we hopped Pokemon would be. And yet a great of a historical rendition it was, it brings the question to me as how can you miss what is so great about the Pokemon series and give us what you have these past years, when making and showing us this tells us you KNOW better?
    In short it comes down again to money, namely mass marketing that is the source of the shows lacking quality’s. Pokemon inc. and 4Kids both, looking for more ways to attain the almighty dollar rather that staying true to the values of good storytelling and immersion and letting that be what profits follow from. And my biggest fact in support to this truth (perhaps and article write for me when I can) is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (No I am not a “Brony” (not it the community sense)).

    • Jordan

      Wow, nice post Darsoul. You make a very good point. Although, 4Kids is a company and sadly they do need to make money, otherwise its staff can’t pay their bills and they’d probably leave and it would all fall apart anyway. However, I do think changing the voice cast was a mistake. Maybe they could have arranged something else to make production costs cheaper – perhaps keep the opening and endings songs in Japanese? I have no idea.

      • Jordan, I believe for the opening and ending songs, the problem is that it would cost even more; 4Kids would have to purchase usage rights or such from the original Japanese artists, and I’ve heard it’s a nightmare.

        Even major game companies such as Square Enix and Namco Bandai have to omit original openings and endings from a large number of their big name games such as Final Fantasy and Tales; it’s too cost prohibitive and complicated to sort out overseas usage rights compared to those of just one country.

        • Jordan

          I would have thought you’d still need to purchase copyright to get the footage of the anime in general, which would include the opening and ending songs? I don’t know of course, but that’s just my speculation. You could be right. It would explain why they butcher the opening songs in the first place.

  26. I actually watched Origins in Japanese, and once more in English, and I realized how different a lot of things were between the two dubs.

    Both, I feel, paid great respect and tribute to the beginnings of Pokemon, but I felt more of a connection to the Japanese dub. The Pokemon themselves sounded more realistic and the trainers, including both minor characters and major ones such as Red, Green, and Giovanni, put a lot more emotion into their speech.

    On a more relevant note, I agree that 4Kids made some terrible mistakes with airing Pokemon in the West. I grew up in largely Asian countries before I entered boarding school and even now as a college student, I still very much in tune with Asian tropes and cliches; it’s always painful for me to see some interpretations of said tropes and cliches. The changing voice cast actually bugged me enough to stop watching; one of the biggest mistakes I feel any type of consumable media can make is to establish a character and then change a huge aspect of them, such as their voice actor.

    Just a couple of thoughts and opinions from a longtime anime and Pokemon fan.

    • Jordan

      Thanks Jokerstyle. You’re not the only one who stopped watching because of the dub changes. It would have been interesting to see Pokemon in Japanese.

  27. I’m not sure why Jordan says the Johto seasons were considered, “good” since that was the most hated arc of the Pokemon anime, where the original trio bombed and failed as a group and Misty was disliked immensely for becoming a stale and boring character.

    Hoenn onward is considered when the anime actually got good again, as the writers made up for the utterly terrible Johto seasons, and replaced the staleness of Misty with the much better May and the Contests episodes. The whole reason the writers got rid of Misty for good was a combination of Misty being disliked over the course of the Johto arc, May being much more popular as a companion, and the Contest episodes being the most popular addition to the show.

    This is why DP used the same formula, and Dawn continued what started with May.

    So I have no clue why Jordan thinks fans like the Johto seasons/original trio/Misty, when that whole portion of the series bombed.

    • Jordan

      Interesting you prefer Hoenn over Johto. As far as I know, most people hated the writers getting rid of Misty. May was ok, but I hated Max with a passion.

      • LOL, the whole reason Misty stayed gone in the first place, and why the writers decided not to revive her character, was because people didn’t care Misty left after how stale her character became in the Johto arc. That and May just became too popular as a replacement, along with the Contest episodes taking off in popularity in the series. This is why Dawn was designed to be so similar to May in terms of role and personality in the first place.

        I’d also love to know who “most people,” are, since you seem to be refering to a vocal minority of obsessive Misty fans who only watched the show because of the original fad.

        You seem to be one of those people who has no knowledge what actually transpired in the Pokemon fandom a decade ago, and are basically making opinions based on people who grew out of the franchise or lost interest in the series when their childhood ended.

  28. I’d like to take this time to mention that you have all wrongfully been accusing 4Kids for changing the voice cast: the new dub is done by TPCi (then known as PUSA), and THEY are the ones responsible for ruining English dub Pokemon, firing the original voice cast, script writers, the good dub musicians, etc. If anyone is to blame, it is TPCi in that regard: Pokemon was one of the only dubs 4Kids did right.

    • Jordan

      I had heard of that company, but I’m pretty sure 4Kids fired them in the first place. Either way, thanks for the correction.

      • Well, you’re actually incorrect on that note, as PUSA/TPCi fired them and 4Kids had nothing to do with that: what happened is TPCi basically wanted to produce the dub more cheaply and as a result replaced all the people that worked on the English dub from Seasons 1-8 (4Kids). Hard to believe somebody could someone managed to bungle a dub up worse than 4Kids could, but TPCi did it.

  29. Just wanted to correct all of you in that it was NOT 4Kids who changed the cast OR produced the new/current English dub: you all have them confused for TPCi (then called PUSA) who RUINED the English dub of Pokemon by replacing EVERYONE who worked on the English dub from Seasons 1-8: if anything, 4Kids was great with Pokemon despite the silly edits and errors.

  30. Mary Awad

    The beginning of this review is very sad but so extremely true. Pokemon has gone down the tubes in recent years but I loved Origins. Talk about nostalgia, it has everything a classic Pokemon fan wanted. It’s the ultimate throwback and you summarize it all really nicely~ Great job!

    • Jordan

      Thanks! I would really love to hear from fans who grew up with the later series as to what they think of Pokemon.

  31. I really enjoyed Origins. It gave me such a nostalgic feel!! It was so wonderful to have those feelings I had as a kid so long ago!

  32. I was curious about this. The animation and nostalgia is too much to stay away from.

  33. Courtney

    I think it’s interesting that the fandom at large apparently preferred Hoenn to Johto and May to Misty. I agree that Misty became a stale character and May was much more interesting, as well as the addition of the contests adding a new flair to the show, but I still consider Kanto and Johto to be my favorite regions (along with Orange Islands). Hoenn comes close behind. Perhaps it was just my age and interest at the time; most other friends of mine who watched Pokemon from the beginning similarly prefer Kanto and Johto to the following regions.

  34. Justice prevails.
    0

    Based on couple of commebnts i read im surprised people say May was more populer than Misty. When Misty left half of pokemon fandom stopped watching pokemon anime(ratings for Hoenn were in decline after Johto ended). People were furious over Misty romance with Ash going nowhere. How her water master dream was unfinished. How much comedy gold, passion and enjoyable dynamic Misty brought to pokemon with her deadpan snark, temper, girly side, strongwilled attitude and sense for rightness.

    Ok i admit Misty started to stagnate in middle of Johto, but i liked her when Whirl islands happened and afterwards in last Johto season regaining back her shtick and entertainment value maturing. But not losing her charm, emotion and brash,curious nature. When writers finally increased Misty focus, did more with her water dreams and get her back on right trail after stagnation with things starting to hook up and become interesting, they suddenly replaced her.

    It made no sense and i dont blame that people were angry over her leaving just like that. With pokemon never being as entertaining and exciting afterwards, like it was with Misty around.

  35. Nickole
    0

    Really wish they would make more of these
    Watching the pokemon XY or whatever plays on tv now is just terrible. Childish and good in ways but the dialogue and background stories are just pointless and uninspiring. Is there a way to petition for this to become a thing!! 🙁 Sigh

  36. I don’t know how anyone could possibly believe “half the fandom” was enraged when Misty left. Not only did most people originally stop watching the anime halfway into the Johto arc, but most people never watched Pokemon for Misty in the first place. They watched for the concept of Pokemon itself or Ash’s story.

    Likewise, why do you think the writers decided not to bring Misty back in the first place? The Brock/Tracey replacement was quickly reversed after it happened, whereas with Mist she flat out stayed gone permanently for the entire duration of the anime. Misty’s cameos also never continued past 2005, so she hasn’t even physically appeared in an episode in nearly a decade.

    On top of that, May herself was one of the most popular characters in the series. Had people wanted Misty back, we likely would have seen her return and May leave after Hoenn, and then Misty would have continued into DP and Dawn would have never joined afterward the same way Brock stayed a long time after his replacement “failed.”

    Its baffling how some of you are living 16 years in the past and honestly believe the fandom is stuck on Misty, when a quick glance on any Pokemon forum, tumblr, deviantart, etc. shows that almost every girl who came in after Misty became incredibly popular.

  37. CorbynCostello

    Quite honestly I loved the idea of Origins. Yes, I disliked that a huge chunk of Red’s adventures were cut off at many parts but the concept and idea of it makes this old time Pokemon lover fall in love with Pokemon all over again. Though I haven’t read all of the manga for Pokemon, I remember reading a portion where Red used a TM (Technical Machine) on a Pokemon and it was in the shape of a cube that can be split in half.

    Red placed each half next to the ears of the Pokemon and light, that seemed to emit from electrical machine circuitry from within the two halves of the cube, glowed brightly next to the Pokemon and that’s how it learned a new move. I really wished that the Pokemon series had shown this and, if they ever decide to expand on Origins (hopefully), they could show this technique of learning new moves in the shows.

    Also, I’m quite sure that everyone would love to see an animated reenactment of the showdown between Red and Gold on Mt. Silver! I mean to see the struggle of climbing to the deepest depths of the dangerous mountain just to find and challenge the legendary trainer himself? Epic!

  38. This was incredibly refreshing. They should really make a full fledged series following this style. The art and voice are vastly superior to the Ash anime and the story, though highly compressed, is well put together. I really liked how they made Brock a legit gym leader and mentor to Red and not some dumb pervy loser who follows Ash around like an idiot. It was also great when we got into Red’s head as he realized that he was battling just as much as his Charmander was. Makes me want more!

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