What happened to the Pokémon series?
Pokémon is getting ruined. Why? I’ll explain in this blog.
I feel like Pokémon has been losing its popularity and reputation that it tried so hard to maintain. I used to absolutely enjoy watching Pokémon. But that was a long time ago. In this blog, I will be sharing my thoughts on what and where I think Pokémon was getting different. Disclaimer: Like most of my reviews, this will have some opinionated aspects, so be sure to also pay attention to the factual information.
Part One: “Pokémon Sun and Moon”, Where things began to fall apart.
I think where Pokémon went wrong was Pokémon: Sun and Moon. Because everything that was happening were way too convenient for Ash only. What I also didn’t really like, was the Ultra Guardians storyline. It was too unrealistic considering the fact that you’re having a bunch of adolescents trying to save the world, instead of experienced adults. It had a lot of characters who were pushed around. And a lot of annoying and unnecessary characters. One of which was Faba. Faba was Lusamaine’s (Lillie’s Mom) assistant. Faba was just a terrible anti-hero/villain whom in the end, did everything merely for attention and because he was jealous. And then there were all the students in the Pokémon school. On the whole, they were ignored. That was just so they could only focus on Ash and Lillie. And to be frank, Ash is different, but I just don’t get Lillie’s storyline. She’s predominantly a spoiled brat who needs everything to be done for her since her mom his rich and now she is. And I’ve noticed that for a preponderance of the series, Lillie has been only crying because of her fear of contact with Pokémon. You could kind of understand for Ash, because he is the main character. But they definitely could’ve given everyone more time to shine. And though that happened, it was all jampacked into the final season where other things were happening. Throughout the entire series, things were mainly focused on Ash trying to beat all four island kahunas. AKA Alola’s version of gym leaders, essentially. In doing so will help him win some z gems. This was just a lazy knockoff of the traditional storyline. Where Ash has to beat the gym leaders in order to compete at the Pokémon league. Speaking of which, that was another inconsistent problem. The Pokémon League. It was barely foreshadowed earlier on. And normally, the entire Pokémon series is about Ash competing in the Pokémon league. But this was just pathetic. No one had to really work as hard to compete in the league. You basically have to battle everyone and be within a specific number. If you are, you get to compete. There were some really good players who ended up not getting a position only to focus on much more “significant” characters who aren’t even that good at battling. like Mallow and Lillie for example. The two of them weren’t as experienced in battling as someone like Ash would. Both of them had terrible tactics and used their Z-moves earlier on, upon being desperate. Yet even so, they lost terribly and seemed like they had no idea what they were doing. What I also found really strange, was the new animation and Ash’s design. Throughout all of the Pokémon series, the animation has been the way an anime should. It has been consistent. But in “Sun and Moon”, the animation is kind of lazy, noticeably choppy, and overall, not the way Pokémon looks. And they didn’t give as much detail to basic things. Ash meanwhile, looks like his surgeon had a seizure when giving him plastic surgery. In all the shows, Ash has held a consistent, iconic, angular shape, with messy hair. Nonetheless, in “Sun and Moon” Ash retains a much more curved, and relaxed appearance. His mouth and nose seem to disappear from different angles. His eyes are a lot smaller. And his hair is a lot droopier than usual. The “anime” seemed to be more kids show than anime. However, in spite of all these, it was still a Pokémon show. It still retained some Pokémon features, though it was a big step-off from traditional Pokémon. To be frank, all things considered, “Pokémon: Sun and Moon” had two big problems. One: Because of the amazing success of the previous series, (Pokémon: XY/XYZ) this one had really high expectations. Which is why people despised it even more when it wasn’t as good. And two: “Pokémon: Sun and Moon” tried way too hard to make this just like the other shows without making it too obvious, because the show had a similar storyline to the previous shows. Normally, Ash has to fight gym leaders to obtain badges. But now, he has to fight island kahuna’s to win z gems. See the similarity? I still enjoyed watching this show, but it could’ve been traditional and deliver just right. However, the worst was still yet to come…
Pokémon Journeys: The latest, and most humiliating installment of Pokémon.
Not too long ago, Netflix got the rights to Pokémon. And since that happened, Netflix has been taking full advantage of this opportunity. In other words, Netflix has been making more Pokémon content. They’ve made more Pokémon movies. Netflix made two un-canon films, (I Choose You, The Power of Us.) They even made a remake of “Mewtwo strikes back”. But now, they are continuing the main Pokémon universe. Introducing, “Pokémon: Journeys”. Right when we though it couldn’t get worse, it did. The show once again follows Ash joining a new research group. A man named Professor Cerise is leading this study and provides Ash and a new character named “Goh” with tickets and stuff, so that they can travel to whichever region to “research”. Let’s talk about Goh. As Goh finally starts with Pokémon, he takes the phrase “Gotta catch ’em all” to the extreme. He literally wants to catch every single Pokémon in the world. And yes, even though this is an anime, Goh’s “Gotta Catch ’em all” motive is way too unrealistic. Goh manages to somehow catch every Pokémon in whatever region in less than a day. But another reason as to why Goh is such a hated character, is because of his methods of catching Pokémon. Goh catches Pokémon out of luck and does not battle them. The thing about Goh is that he tends to be “Emo”, and a rather stubborn character at that. He seems to get annoyed quickly and acts like a teenager, though he’s supposed to be ten. Now, let’s go back to Ash. Ash seems a little different again. He has a new facial design which looks kind of neat. If you are comparing it with Sun and Moon. It still isn’t his original look which I think is fine considering how he looked previously. In Journeys, Ash tends to be a little more relaxed. Of course, he still is enthusiastic and does get excited quickly. But he also is more experienced compared to Goh. What's weird though is that Goh seems to get a little more attention than Ash. Now, Ash seems to be a side character. Here’s what this could mean: Pokémon, and or Netflix, are trying to give Ash and Pikachu a sendoff and make Goh the new face of Pokémon. I know for a fact that I wouldn't like that, and it would definitely be a tearjerker for longtime Pokémon fans. By saying goodbye to Ash, they'd be throwing away twenty years of legacy. And now, there’s “Team Rocket”, no longer blasting off at the speed of light. Part of what made Team Rocket so great was because they were humane. Of course, they had bad intentions. They wanted to steal Pokémon. But I saw them more as “Anti-heroes”, rather than villains or antagonists. Meaning they know when to do the right thing. There is also their bond with their own Pokémon, which they caught themselves. They can sometimes have the most hilarious, yet beautiful relationships. In Journeys, Their intentions are the same, but there is a drastic change. Rather than catching and bonding with their Pokémon, Team Rocket is given a new “weapon”. It is like a gumball machine, instead with poke-balls. And in those poke-balls, are trained, professional Pokémon. This completely defeats the whole point of Team Rocket. They are randomly calling out attacks. And normally, they’d say these moves from the heart. I don’t know whose idea this was. Whether it was Netflix’s or Pokémon's. Even in Sun and moon, Team Rocket was the same. It was perfect, and I don’t know what they had to change. Now that we’ve talked about the characters, let’s move onto the plot. Ash and Goh have to travel the world to “research” Pokémon. Now the reason I emphasized the word “research”, is because in the show, Ash and Goh don’t actually research. I mean sure, they will make observations. They will take pictures. But the entire season is mainly about their tourism to different regions of the world. One day, they’ll go to the Hoenn region. The next, they head to Kalos. And literally the only thing they’re doing, is having fun. They will go on adventures, they will go to parties. And though that’s nice, it isn’t researching. Professor Cerise has to pay all this money everyday for their plane tickets, so they can have fun? There is no logic behind that, whatsoever. And now, the final reason. The Pokémon franchise has been working with Netflix for a while. And this here is what opened up a new problem. Pokémon is getting more “kids show”, and less anime. You saw how cool. and kind of mature Pokémon: XY/XYZ was. Fast forward to Journeys, and now, you’re watching a modernized, marketed, kids show. The animation has changed, so has the point of dialogue. There is no question, that Pokémon may have been changed forever.
Well I must say, this was a long read. I knew I had a grudge to hold against Pokémon, but I didn’t think it would be this long. For me, and most people, Pokémon has fallen off the rails severely. I cannot bare to watch any more of it. To summarize, the problem with Sun and Moon, was that it tried too hard to be like traditional Pokémon, while also attempting to change things up slightly. Which made an obvious parallel. And the problem with Journeys was that rather than making things go back to normal, they cut it even more close. They changed some characters that were already good, added lame characters, and turned it into a children's show. It can no longer be distinguished from other shows for children on Netflix, because this is Netflix. In the end, I really do hope that they fix Pokémon, and gave us the Pokémon we’ve deserved. I’m quite convinced that this blog had to have triggered others, so please do not be offended, as these are my thoughts. I hope you have a good day/afternoon/night. And please check out my other writings.