Why You Should Give The Pokémon Anime Another Shot
I’ve been binge watching Pokémon XY for the past few days and I haven’t had this much fun with any generation of the Pokémon anime in years. This series has seriously raised in quality since the polarizing Unova days. The few followers who I’m also friends with on Facebook probably already know, but I’ve listed many reasons why XY is the strongest iteration of the Pokémon anime to date. (Yes, even better than the original series. Also, I decided to add a little to that old list.)
1. Ash’s traveling partners have never been better. Yeah, Brock and Misty were classic, but Clemont and Bonnie are simply a delight. I love Clemont and his unique inventions. It’s a gag that’s never done the same way each time. Sometimes, his gadgets backfire and then other times, they work just fine. It brings variety to an anime that’s been going on longer than some of our lifetimes! Bonnie is like the Max (from Advanced Generation) for XY, but MUCH nicer and isn’t an annoying brat who tries to be a know-it-all. (Also, unlike Max, she’s in the games with her older brother) She’s just full of joy and being what she is; a young child. And even though Clemont can sometimes bother her, it’s clear she really loves and cares about him, unlike Max with his older sister May. (She kinda picked up Brock’s habit of asking girls out, but instead, she’s asking on Clemont’s behalf even though he clearly never asked for it) Yeah, in the end, Max and May loved each other too but they spent more time bickering and being at each other’s necks than actually bonding for that love to really shine. I’ll get more into the female protagonist Serena later and you’ll know why.
2. The animation has seriously been bumped up in terms of quality. Yeah, Unova sort of started this trend, but even then, Unova looked really wonky and unnatural at times. The animators learned from those past mistakes, took Unova’s style and perfected it here. The battles have never looked more alive than here. Especially with that new VS. eyecatch the show likes to bring every time a major battle (Usually with Ash) starts.
3. Ash is seriously getting a lot more mature and smarter when it comes to battling. Yeah, he can still be absent-minded and immature, but it’s a lot more charming and less aggravating. Unlike back then, when he refused to admit to his mistakes, he realizes when he’s being foolish and tries to fix it. Also, his strategizing and his synchronization with his Pokémon are at an all-time high. The dude actually takes type advantages/disadvantages into account now. (Although, sometimes he likes to break the mold there)
4. Ash’s team, aside from Pikachu, are all fully evolved. That’s never happened in any generation up until now. I know about his team and everything and it’s partly why I decided to return to XY and give it another shot.
5. The female protagonist Serena is absolutely wonderful. She doesn’t get mad at Ash as often as Misty did, she doesn’t patronize him as much as May did, she doesn’t belittle him as much as Dawn did, and she certainly never treats him like a kid the way Iris did. I really REALLY like Serena. She’s different from all the other female protagonists in a way that’s quite enjoyable to watch. And she’s the first one of Ash’s many traveling companions to have an official crush on him. But what makes it great is that it’s never shown outright in every episode, but when it does appear, it’s done in a way that seems very natural.
6. Can I just gush about how kickass the animation has gotten since Unova again? It’s gotten so much better that I just HAVE to mention it again. Holy hell, especially during Gym Battles. Simple colored backgrounds with moving lines every time Pokémon use moves have been utterly replaced for 3D realistic backgrounds that move with the Pokémon. Also, you can actually SEE the Pokémon get attacked just as they attack instead of the screen cutting it off with those white flashes of censorship. And Pikachu’s Thunderbolt no longer looks like it’s trying too hard with the CGI. The animators deliberately fixed their mistakes with Unova and perfected the updated art style it introduced.
7. How incredibly engaging this show is. True, it can still be very childish, too wholesome at times and even downright goofy, as expected with the demographic the show is made for, but there are moments that can be very heartfelt and genuine that other generations of the Pokémon anime TRIED to touch, and while some may have somewhat succeeded, they weren’t nailed as they should’ve been. Kalos, on the other hand, manages to hit when it tries to and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’d go into more detail with this but I won’t since I want to avoid spoilers for the sake of potential readers of this post.
So, yeah, I’m not caught up with the XY anime yet, but I’ve been getting tons of good vibes from it and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. (Also, word on the street is that Ash has been doing pretty well in the Kalos League. I’m interested in seeing where this goes.)