Animania: Pokemon Origins (Review)

Pokemon Origins is a nostalgic trip back to the days of the original Pokemon Red and Blue. The coolest part about this is that it’s not a gimmick to sell toys or the games. Pokemon don’t shout out their own names in ridiculous fashion (they do that so kids can remember the names) and they don’t have short, violence free battles. These are a more realistic and video game-esque interpretation on the classic franchise, and I have to say I was quite taken by how charming the series is. It definitely has its problems, but its mostly an enjoyable watch.

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The story follows the story of Red and Blue, with our main protagonist being named Red. To start off, I have to say that the dubbed voice acting is pretty embarrassing. It’s treated with pretty little respect, as dubbed products often are when they come over seas. The series relies heavily on nostalgia, and unfortunately, that can only carry you so far when you’re using the same two or three voice actors over and over again. Although I think these voice actors should be embarrassed at a lot of the line readings that they did, it’s not enough to detract from the fun and nostalgic of the short series.

The best part, by far, is the more realistic take on Pokemon. Pokemon are depicted more animal like than anything here, which is a much better representation. In the Saturday morning cartoon versions, they’re often treated as a gimmick rather than a show focus. Here, the battles are well animated and interesting, and they often mirror the feelings that the game can carry. Red is a pretty annoying protagonist, but he manages to bounce back around halfway through the series. Well, he bounces back when he’s not being made Blue’s bitch. Oh,and Blue’s still a whiny little weenie, too.

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One thing many fans may be irritated about, they do skip a lot of the more interesting parts from the games. They jump from point to point, and you shouldn’t be expecting to see all of the gym battles. Some episodes focus a bit more on the human aspects than I’d like, often having little to no Pokemon interaction (in a show about Pokemon, yikes). However, this can often serve as a nice buildup when Pokemon battles do happen, and I quite enjoyed the buildup.

We see folks like Team Rocket, get acquainted with Charizard, we meet Brock and Giovanni, and so many other cool little nods to the game. Often, lines of direct dialogue from the game are imported into the show, which is extremely cool. Also, the opening screen that references a save file is a nice homage to the original games as well. In general, it pays a solid tribute to the games as a whole, minus the awfully dubbed voice acting.

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In summary, the show is fun, and it’s cool to see Pokemon being taken a bit more seriously. You can relive the classic battles like never before, and experience some new ones live on screen. If you can get past the voice acting and occasionally stupid dialogue, you can find yourself really immersed in the world of Pokemon’s past. I think it was definitely a cool creation, and I wish they’d do a better acted version of the future series as well.

Photos are used for purely review purposes and are not owned by CulturED World. All credit goes to their original owners and copyright holders. Use of these photos is protected by the Fair Use Act.

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