Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Pokemon; Animated fantasy series, Japan/ USA, 1997-2008; D: Masamitsu Hidaka, S: Rica Matsumoto, Yuuji Ueda, Megumi Hayashibara, Ikue Otani

There are over 490 species of them, they look like horses, rodents, birds and monsters and have occasional special powers: the pokemon, the so called "pocket monsters". Ash Ketchum is an energetic little kid who briefly leaves his family and home in order to collect the pokemon from the nature into small balls and become their trainer and even the best pokemon master. His first one is called Pikachu and can blast his opponents with electric shocks, though they argue at first. On their way he is joined by the red haired Misty and Brock - and later with May - whereas they often stumble into their opponents, "Team Rocket", Jesse, James and a talking cat Meowth who want to steal their Pikachu. Ash thus goes to fight in the pokemon arenas.

From the very beginning of it's broadcasting, semi-anime series "Pokemon" wasn't appreciated by critics or taken seriously, but just as a cynical marketing ploy for the video game. But despite it's mild style, a few clumsiness and embarrassing moments, the first few seasons were rather charming and had a lot of charm embodied in the amusing situations whereas the characters simply become like able by themselves, the hero Ash is wonderfully temperamental, while for an artificial world there is a satisfyingly high tone of inventiveness (for instance, the translation of pokemon language using subtitles; pokemon fossils) and the symbols were used for gentle interlace with Ash's destiny. But, since absolutely every episode has the absolutely same scheme "fight-win over Team Rocket", the whole thing quickly becomes repetitive, and after 500 episodes (!) it also becomes frankly lethargic and looses the viewer's interest.


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