Pokemon Generations, a new Pokemon TV series that follows the plot of the Pokemon games rather than the plot of the Pokemon anime, was put up on Pokemon’s official YouTube channel two days ago. Since then, fans of the games, and especially the earlier ones like Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Silver, Gold, and Crystal, have been giving the show nothing but positive feedback.
Especially in the month since Pokemon Go was released and took the mobile gaming world by storm, Pokemon fans from the franchise’s huge popularity boom in the late 90s and early 2000s have been rekindling their interest in the series. Unfortunately, they have missed out on a lot. Pokemon was only one, two, or maybe three generations in when many people stopped playing and essentially left the franchise for dead – in this case, a “generation” refers to one cycle of Pokemon, complete with a slew of all-new creatures and a new set of games.
Now that Pokemon is making a comeback in the pop culture scene, however, those returning fans who haven’t been around since the franchise’s early days need to be caught up on the games. After all, time has marched on and a lot has happened in the Pokemon world since the days of Kanto and Johto – Pokemon fans have also experienced the worlds of Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos since then, and a seventh Pokemon generation set in Alola is due out this November.
Now, The Pokemon Company has found the best possible way to hook those returning Pokemon fans and introducing them – albeit very briefly – to what has been happening in the Pokemon universe while they were away: Pokemon Generations.
In the first four-minute episode of Pokemon Generations, a web series of which Pokemon posted the first two episodes on their YouTube channel several days ago, one can plainly see what The Pokemon Company is going for. The episode opens with actual footage of a Pikachu being captured in Viridian Forest in Pokemon Yellow, a scene that is supremely iconic for 90s kids and is sure to hit almost any ex-Pokemaniac right in the nostalgia feels. This is what is referred to in the biz as a “hook.”
Once the footage shows the trainer toss a pokeball and capture the Pikachu, the trainer’s shadow falls over the screen and the image cleverly transitions from the all-too-familiar Game Boy readout to actual animation. Over the next three minutes, the viewer sees the trainer, who is actually the character from the original Pokemon games, and his trusty Pikachu traversing each of the six regions the Pokemon games have introduced. In the footage for each region, the two are shown at one of the region’s most notable landmarks from the games, battling one of that generation’s newly introduced Pokemon.
Pokemon Generations Episode 2 looks at a police task force breaking into the supposedly abandoned Viridian City gym in search of Team Rocket leader and active mob boss Giovanni. Reviewers like Japanese anime YouTuber RogersBase notes that, like the first episode, Pokemon Generations Episode 2 makes superb use of sound and includes a great soundtrack inspired by the digital music from the original Pokemon games.
Many of Pokemon’s older fans would like to learn more about where the franchise is now thanks to Pokemon’s resurgence, but they do not want to shell out large sums of money for the gaming titles – not to mention the gaming systems required to play them – and they find it difficult to get into the Pokemon anime because of its undeniably juvenile and often saccharine themes. The Pokemon Company realizes this and have obviously made an effort to address this in Pokemon Generations, which one can tell from just two short webisodes centering around more realistic details, such as Pokemon having actual animal-like calls rather than crying their own names over and over, and more mature themes than the Pokemon anime.
Have you watched the first two episodes of Pokemon Generations? What were your favorite and least favorite aspects? Make yourself heard in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Blazingfist/Bulbapedia/Fair Use]