Pokémon: The Animé – Indigo League & Adventures In Orange Islands (Kanto)

A TV evolution of concept potential from 8 Bit to world’s biggest franchise w. fine characterization, japanese vibrance, genre-diverse weekly adventures, lore/world expansion, viz aptitude, hilarious meta-comedy, & iconic ’90’s rock theme. 8.9/10.

Plot Synopsis: Young Ash Ketchum begins his Pokémon training as he reaches his 10th birthday. Things don’t go as expected for the youngster, who gets a Pikachu instead of a standard first Pokémon. Winning gym badges is also tougher than Ash thought it would be. He’s not alone in his quest for the badges, though, as former gym leaders Brock and Misty are by his side, along with some new friends.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

CLC’s Official Top 25 #PokémonTheAniméKanto Episodes: 1. The Ghost Of Maiden’s Peak, 2. Pokémon – I Choose You!, 3. The Breeding Center Secret, 4. The Battle Of The Badge, 5. Abra and The Psychic Showdown, 6. The Misty Mermaid, 7. The Tower Of Terror, 8. Mystery Of The Lighthouse, 9. The Ultimate Test, 10. Sparks Fly For Magnemite, 11. Beach Blankout Blastoise, 12. A Rivalry Revival, 13. The Pi-Kahuna, 14. The School Of Hard Knocks, 15. Showdown In Pewter City, 16. Lights, Camera, Quack-Tion!, 17. Battle Aboard The St. Anne, 18. The Bridge Bike-Gang, 19. The Water Flowers Of Cerulean City, 20. Riddle Me This, 21. Snow Way Out!, 22. Charmander: The Stray Pokémon, 23. Wake Up Snorlax!, 24. Round One – Begin!, 25. Pikachu Re-Volts

Official CLC Review

A Pop-Culture Revolution

A Video Game Taking The World By Storm, The Premiere Of The TV Show On Apr. 1, 1997 Aimed To Ground The Esoterica In Storytelling – And Succeeded: The Longest Running Animé Series Of All-Time

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Back in 1996, Pokémon was taking the world by storm. A once-in-a-century revolution had set ablaze pop-culture with the release of Red/Blue/Green/Yellow – a collection of some of the greatest games of all-time their creator Satoshi Tajiri had spent a lifetime dreaming and nearly a decade [+ nearly-bankrupt Nintendo] to develop, and one corporate executives were chomping like Mario 64 chainchomps to cash in on. Though the concept-pitch was the greatest in fictional history and clearly seeable through its 8-Bit façade on Game Boy screens from Europe to Asia to South America to The Middle East by R/B/G/Y’s established overworld, invoking the power of cinema to flesh-out the IP, characters, arcs, and creatures in a three-dimensional TV series was the obvious choice – and Pokémon’s announced less than a year afterwards. True to its Japanese roots and origins by animé design, the accompaniment only further doused the flame with fuel to keep the wildfire expanding – perhaps even preventing its 5 minutes of fame from burning out by its universal appeal and primordial lure, and just as iconic and beloved by ’90’s kids to date as the games. A TV evolution of concept potential from 8-Bit black-and-white video game screens to the world’s biggest franchise by fine characterization, Japanese vibrance, genre-diverse weekly adventures from horror to sci-fi, lore/overworld expansion, visual aptitude, hilarious meta-comedy, & iconic ’90’s rock theme, The OG Animé is legendary kids’ entertainment and pure saturday morning, sugary-cereal crazed cartoon magnificence.

The Soundtrack & Main Theme

From The Epic ’80s Rock Ballad By James Paige Of A Colorful Motivational Tale Since Become An Iconic Theme Of A Generation, A Soundtrack Extrapolating 8-Bit Originals Remastered

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

From its opening drumroll and electric guitar arpeggio, the soundtrack of the original PKMN animé is special. The epic ’80’s-esque classic rock-ballad by James Paige feels like Motley Crüe, Van Halen, KISS, or Led Zeppelin – shockingly-reframed in a kids’ motivational tale of pure colorful effervescence and personality ~every other like TV show and cartoon lacks and has since [predictively] become iconic as one of the greatest and most famous television theme songs ever. The soundtrack as a whole extrapolates beyond the 8-bit polygonal sonicisms of the original games into a finely-tuned canvas of orchestration on its melodies for greater tangibility for mass audiences – one of cinematic feel in its big character/emotion moments and comedy references like its Pink Panther-esque Team Rocket theme evoking a smile every time. The visuals parallel this and evolve the concept through their magnificence and aptitude of animation. No secret it was going to be the biggest challenge of the TV series, painting these godlike creatures battling it out hurling thunderbolts, launching ice beams, summoning earthquakes, breathing flamethrowers, manipulating psychic energy, and more was going to be a herculean task – of any era, let alone the comparative technological-nescience of the ’90’s with the budget of a TV cartoon by a company just now paying its employees a paycheck for the first time in half a decade it took to design and build the games of Red/Blue/Green/Yellow.

The Creator As A Protagonist

Satoshi Tajiri As A 10 Year-Old In The World, A Charismatic, Brave, Compassionate Main Character The Series Could Evolve Around – Just As Energy-Bursting & Electric As His Yellow Mouse Friend The Animé Established As The Series Icon

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Rewatching the animé 25+ years later, it’s remarkable how well they were able to portray and three-dimensionalize the concept beyond the dual-staged chesslike static screen of the games. Battles have a dynamism to them, epitomize the gladitorial excitement from the series’ opening Gengar v. Onix stadium match, and further highlight the badassery of the creatures – while eccentuating others’ cuteness elsewhere to highlight the diversity, charm, and magic of designs of the original 151. There are even ocularly-epic/spectacular scenes like the spearow confrontation that wildly-diverge and pave their own path of differentiation, while others are extremely-faithful to the games in painting the color-themed cities, trainer-lined routes, and endless natural landscapes of our adventure in Kanto. The series foundationalizes the ultimate fictional concept-pitch in good ol’ fashioned cinematization, real-world tangibility, and storytelling that exploits our primal mankind cheat-codes to ‘get’ anything we didn’t just by playing the dimensionally-locked games – and is in CLC’s vote one of, if not the most critical mechanization that allowed the franchise to evolve from [masterpiece but potentially-forgettable] one-off RPG video games into the world’s biggest media franchise.

The Classic Animé & Japanese Aesthetics

A Visual Canvas Of Natural Exposition, Adventure, & Classic Aesthetics With Game-Changnig Legacy Introducing The World To Animé & Japanese Culture Through Pure Saturday-Morning Sugary Cereal Cartoon Glory

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Beyond its sensory package, the indigo league animé thrives by its genre/tone-diversification and characterization. Most striking to us going back to revisit our beloved childhood series we spent many-a-Saturday morning in pajamas with sugary cereals in front of the TV watching now with grown-up eyes and critical analytics is how genre and theme-diverse the weekly adventures are. There’s everything from Old Spaghetti-Western Showdowns to Gang-Wars to Sci-Fi to Abandonment to Animal Rights/Cruelty Exposition to Kaiju to Ninjas to Superheroicism to Psychic Powers to a whole lot of horror: most impressive of the bunch being how it quite often goes dark and surprisingly-morose for its family-mirage in episodes like Ghost Of Maiden’s Peak, Abra And The Psychic Showdown, Tower Of Terror, etc. For a series marketed ostensibly for a children’s demographic down to the 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. subsidiary at the end of each U.S.A. premiere, it’s quite maturely-written and there’s a heck of a lot of enjoyment, sly references, double-meanings, and rewatch-value for older viewers that packs a universal-allure punch the rest of the far more childish later seasons lack. The other features of the show are clever product-placements – like ‘Who’s That Pokémon?’ highlighting by silhouettes and encouraging internalization of the shapes and memorization of the names of the 151 and the uber-catchy ‘Poké-rap’ at the end of each episode fulfilling the ~same purpose in musical form. Also, the Pokémon animé holds major legacy status being quite arguably *the* series that opened the world’s eyes up to animé as a genre and artform [as well as the culture of Japan] beyond the confines of Japan; its cultural status and enjoyment the world-over now was a pipe-dream before PKMN brought it into the households of every family worldwide and introduced them to new flavors and aesthetics they’ve never seen before in socially and entertainmentally palatable ways for the masses.

The Game’s Adventure Evolved

For The Masterpiece Of R/B/G/Y, Its 8-Bit Stylization & Video Game Genre Limited Experience To 2D The Animé Fixed – And Served As A Redeclaration Of The Greatest Fictional Idea Ever Dreamed

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

That’s not even taking into account the fact that the American 4Kids premieres consistently changed and kidified the original japanese scripts – including prevention of some episodes from even airing by controversy or too-dark tonicism. Heck, the entire franchise’s main characters nearly die in the first episode of the series – saved by a jaw-dropping scene of character-development that cemented its two major protagonists for a generation. The protagonist being a 10-year old version of the creator of Pokémon: Satoshi Tajiri [English: Ash Ketchum, renamed because Americans have trouble with foreign names] is a masterpiece Easter Egg – and a main character-crux the entire world of Pokémon can [and did] revolve around by his energy-bursting, charismatic, brave, hungry, ball-of-fire moxie and determinism – one you can’t help but respect how much he loves the creatures of its world. We’ve seen people argue they like Red better or would’ve redesigned him from the start, but his underdog spirit charms and incompetence makes for a far more interesting journey of characterization and storytelling than if he would’ve just won every battle and been able to train his Pokémon without problems from the start.

The Birth Of The Franchise Mascot

Featured Only On One Route In R/G/B/Y Less Thhan Pidgey & Rattata, Our Favorite Electric Mouse Would’ve Faded To Irrelevance Without The Animé Recognizing Its Potential & Perfection – Buoyed By Sparky Characterization Of Rocky Relationship At First Needing Proof Of Trust

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

That brings us to Pikachu. The now-icon of the entire franchise and series owes ~100% credit to the animé. Our favorite yellow mouse with rabbit biological characteristics – so pop-culturally famous, it’s the official symbol of the nation of Japan – is only featured for a few seconds on one route in the Red/Blue/Green/Yellow games and featured less than even Rattata and Pidgey. The visionism to recognize the mascot-potential and archetypal perfection of the indescribably-adorable electric rodent is a grand achievement by the animé, one it’s no wonder was given it’s own version of the video game [that also redesigns the adventure to clearly-homage the animé] afterwards and is made even better by the fact that Pikachu’s.. kind of an a**hole at first. Ash and Pikachu are now soulmate best-friends for a generation, but it didn’t start out that way – a rocky relationship so bad and mistrustful, Ash had to use rubber gloves to avoid 1,000V voltage electrocution, pull with a rope, and fight wild pokémon with his bare hands when Pikachu refused to obey and fight for him, instead napping in a tree.

The Visual Dynamism

Though The Series Is Cute & Vibrant Enough To Draw In Target Audience Demographics Of Kids, Plenty Of Epic Moments, Mature Balances, & Power For Older Viewers – Impressively Painting A Difficult Concept Of Endless Creature Battles

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

That noontime siesta interrupted by the gangsters of the pokéworld: spearows brought our heroes to the brink of destruction and, by the laws of physics. Ash sacrificing himself post-soliloquy against the foreshadowing thunderstorms and a crescendoing orchestral ballad for maximum epicness of a TV moment finally convinces Pikachu of his love for him and inspires him to save them both with a lightning strike for the ages – a bond stronger by its characterizational work that also served to lay the groundwork for the introduction of the rest of the series’ amazing characters. The spunky, water-loving redhead charm of Misty is a perfect female protagonist whose fiery personality masks romantic feelings for Ash it’s quite simply the biggest ‘ship we’ve ever seen in a cartoon [and one of the biggest in TV. Period.] how fizzy their chemistry is – hinted at magnificently by the writers with warm and jovial teases of butterflies from their first fateful meeting on the waterbank, and given a conclusive answer of the original animé’s plan for the couple in the Japanese promo for Pokémon: The First Movie.

The Diversification Of Tone/Genre

Diverse As Its Original 151 Creatures, Genres From Westerns To Sci-Fi To Kaiju To Coming-Of-Age To Ninja To Romance To Action/Adventure To Horror & Foremost: Comedy

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

The promo shows a grown-up Misty with a child bearing her bangs and Ash’s facial characteristics playing with a Pikachu as dialogue hints her father is out being a Pokémon trainer; though it was never officially confirmed, there’s no doubt this signaled Ash and Misty’s marriage and children in future adulthood as a planned flash-forward finale for the animé post-movie if it had not been renewed for a S2 and Generation 2 in Johto. Misty’s cerulean magnetism and fiery redhead valor also makes her a strong female protagonist, whose personality and squabbles alongside the similarly-immature Ash are grounded [pun-intended] by the mature and rock-hard firmness of Brock’s. The interplay – again, visionarily taking two gym leaders from the games and making them main characters against the rules of the original – is phenomenal, creating a trinity of main characters for a lifetime to journey on an adventure of 1,000+ episodes with that’s not only perosnality-balanced, but masterfully voice-acted [the definitive version of each character lost in later seasons, especially Ash: Veronica Taylor is the only true Ash in CLC’s vote and one of the greatest & most iconic/irreplaceable voices definitive of childhood for me] and culturally-diverse too in what could be seen as a white girl, Japanese main character, and Black/Asian-mixed guy.

The Trinity

The Best 3 Characters In PKMN History Alongside An Overworld Of Phenomenal Side-Cameos Alongside R/B/G/Y’s Legendary Cast, A Balance Of Chemistry & Personality As Elemental As Its Type-Charts

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

The rest of the main characters of the series again nod to the original games, but are entirely-new and lifted to three-dimensional cameos of cartoon pleasure. Nurse Joy is extrapolated from just a jovial presence at the Pokémon center to a sweet-and-saccharine recurring cameo and hilarious thirst-trap for Brock amongst the funniest running-gags in the show, Officer Jenny is a surprising injection of robust feminism by the fact she leads the overworld’s police force [with her ‘cousins’ stationed in each city as a meta-joke commenting on the games’ similarity in cameos across the region] and is fair-game for Brock’s valentine-lust with Joy, and Gary is even more of a cocky douchebro than R/B/G/Y. The creatures are just as much characters as the humans in the PKMN animé: from Psyduck the lovably-awkward chubby clutz amongst the funniest characters in the series to the ghastly shrieking-lady sounded trainer-eating Victreebel to humorously social-commentated as the entertainer no one wants to hear and fall asleep during her act Jiggylpuff. Each of the gym leaders and main characters from the game are given strikingly-depthful backstory exposition to flesh them out as the best character-set Pokémon has ever seen.

Team Rocket

An Injection Of Pure Comedy Masquerading As The Villain Into The TV Series, A Magnificently-Vocalized, LGBTQ+-Liquid, Killer-Outfit, Fourth-Wall Breaking, Socially-Commentative Remix Of Red/Blue’s Evil Antagonists

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Characters like the prodigal psychic-child of loneliness and fractured duality so sharp, she physically split herself into two and turned her own parents and any losing challengers into dolls her younger self only wanting friends could play with out of forcisure is heartbreaking and wildly-mature – brilliant characterization paralleled by many of the gym leaders with social-commentary like Erika’s Gloom-y self-journey to love plants and progress past stereotypes, Lt. Surge’s electrifying veteran bawdiness taught bigger and more powerful/evolved isn’t always best, and even the main character pokémon like Charmander being the victim of cold-hearted abandonment learning to love and trust again, Squirtle being a troublemaker acting out of internalized inferiority-complex that finds home enough to quit the tough-guy façade with Ash, Bulbasaur being protector of injured pokémon at the hidden village, Charizard’s humorous refusal to listen to Ash being too powerful and hubristic to listen to a low-level trainer, etc. all eventually learning to trust Ash and become mainstays on his team. This is all nothing, though, in comparison to the series’ best characters and achievement: Team [Not-So] Rocket.

The Romance Teases, Legacy, & Emotion

The Ultimate ‘Ship Of TV Cartoons To-Date, A Dream Couple Hinted With Maximum Delicacy & Secrecy: Ash x Misty And Plenty Of [Very] Emotional Ep’s

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Team Rocket might just be the best part of Indigo League: one of the funniest and most highly-lovable loser/joke villain teams [more concerned with spewing a motto every time they appear than once succesfully completing a bad guy mission]; the cornerstone of the series’ hilarious comedy stylization bringing weekly slapstick, tongue-in-cheek humour, vaudeville, wordplay, and failure to the adventure by their side-splittingly inept, bankrolled-by-criminal-organization plans to capture Pikachu that fail in new spectacular ways for over 52 weeks straight! Every week they fail, it gets funnier – a running joke for the ages of anime history that also breaks the fourth wall in epic ways like ‘how did you guys escape?’ ‘That’s a secret; the writers can’t figure it out either.’ I used to think they were just funny – but now realize how cleverly they were written in this regard and a new resurgence in The Social Media Age and this generation has recognized the social commentary and clever metaphorization on capitalistic business practices by the dynamic: 20-something year old’s working for little to no pay for a tyrannical boss who doesn’t respect them and they can’t seem to please enough to be promoted beyond glorified interns/low-tier workers no matter how much they want to. Hilarious! They are serve as a double-reflexive underdog it’s easy to root for; Ash is already an underdog from Gary and the rest of the nameless Kanto trainers he’s constantly behind against for a protagonist that plays on our classic USA desire to see win one day, but Team Rocket are yet another one even lower on the totem pole by how comically-incompetent they are as thieves who have failed to steal even a single Pokémon.

The Easter Eggs & Divergence From Games

From The First Episode’s Shiny Ho-Oh Cameo Onward, A Bold Mechanization Of PKMN True To The Games While Expanding Their Lore & Laying Groundwork For Future Generations

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

The narcissistic self-delusion of vaingore and lascivious Jessie, high-squealing farcical capriciousness of the wealth-rejecting James [impressively voice-acted by the same James Stewart who plays Brock], & New York/Boston-accented love-lost tragicomedy of Meowth flip traditional gender-roles by not only how Jessie’s girlboss strength is more in-line with male antagonists and James is more of a subservient malewife in the dynamic, but also their frequently-switched clothing ensembles breathing LGBTQ+ representation sneaked impossibly into a kids’ show motif back in the less-forgiving ’90’s. The only real flaw is that there isn’t a clear-cut ending: going into a bizarre Orange Islands S2 instead of one region per season and making the progression more dicy by the fact OI goes on a weird island motif tangent decimating any semblance of original canon – but this doesn’t alter the fact that the 52+ episodes of Indigo League [another feat being that most seasons can barely hold attention or entertain for 10-12 episodes standard-length] are some of the best children’s entertainment to-date, one that holds up fantastically even 20+ years later, has game-changing legacy in media history, and entertains older crowds even above its target-audience like the best children’s entertainment does.

Flaws: Orange Islands S2

Though A Mixed & Often Non-Canon Plot-Decision Of Tiresome 30+-Ep Tropical S2, OI Diversifies The Animé’s Storytelling W. Characterization-Depth And Great Meta-Comedy & Adventure With A Beautiful [Presage] Island Aesthetic

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Though the plot-decision to stretch-out the finale arc of Indigo League to a 60+-ep S2 is questionable – with a tiresome concept, canon-violations, and incomplete feeling with a mediocre Brock-replacement in Tracy, AITOI diversifies its storytelling in far more ambitious characterization-motifs with even more clever-meta comedy, genre-mixes, phenomenal battles, epic conclusion, and a beautiful island aesthetic heightening the adventurous feeling while proving the animé’s transcendability of the video game series to [overall]-satisfyingly end our time in Kanto. The Adventures In The Orange Islands is a peculiar, idiosyncratic plot-decision filled with shortcomings and half-baked ideas – but what it does right, it does very well. There are plenty enough classic episodes feeling right out of and even competing with the best Indigo League had to offer: ones that flesh out the characterization with backstories exploring character origins and raison d’être like Go West Young Meowth, ones that revisit and remix old Kanto experiences like The Misty Mermaid, meta ones like Lights Camera Quack-Tion!, emotional story pieces like Snow Way Out and The Pi-Kahuna, ones that expand the lore like To Master The Onixpected and The Puzzle Of Pokémopolis, tons of battle-focused episodes like its phenomenal Drake battle multi-parter finale arc, and ones that highlight some of Gen 1’s biggest names: Charizard, Blastoise, Lapras, and Snorlax. Each of what would be widely-considered Top 5 Kanto PKMN is given their own magnificent arc/showcase of their power, charm, badassness, and magic – from Beach Blankout Blastoise to Charizard’s blazing volcanic fight against Blaine on Cinnabar Island to Ash [finally] getting a few more epic monsters on his roster to take through the rest of the gyms and into The Indigo Plateau and Orange League.

A Bizarre Character-Switch

Most Vexatious About Orange Islands Is The Awful Character-Swap From Brock To A New Guy Of Sketchable Acclimitization: Tracy

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Though I disliked the plot-decision to go away from canon in the Elite Four with a classicized Indigo Plateau to beef up the episode-count to 100 when really Kanto could’ve been wrapped up in 60-70 [still a massive numer of ep’s for an S1 on Generation 1], it does make up for it with its phenomenal battle episodes of pure poké-excitement and action leading up to its finale Drake/Dragonite arc that is R/B/G/Y-enough to work and feel like closure – especially now that Ash won! The lead-ins to Mewtwo Strikes Back and Generation 2 are palpable – a breathtaking return to Viridian Gym that spooks even Gary into silence at the sight of armored Mewtwo’s godlike powers and the appearance of several G2 icons like Togepi and Marrill by a new trainer. I *hate* Tracy Sketch’m – well, I don’t hate him as much as the handling of him. A watered-down, whitebread/mayo personality that feels like a product placement for some kind of sketch game [one that never came out? Todd would’ve made more sense seeing how Snap became a big spinoff hit for the series on N64], he’s not horrible and has a decently-interesting team of Scyther, Marill, Venonat, etc. – but is a wildly-forgettable and ~boring, safe character shoved upon us by the inexplicable and badly-executed replacement of Brock.

A Tiresome Premise For 30+ Episode Back-Half Kanto

The Tropical Island Motif Is A Great Adventure Eventually-Fixed In Generation 7: Alola, But Here Limited & After 60+ Same-Episodes: Tiresome

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Though he returns at the end of the season to save us going into Generation 2, the decision to leave the team for some rando-girl’s lab after a one-time meeting is underwhelming and shocks [& not in a good way]. Was there litigation or financial troubles? Did studio-execs not like the actor? Previous or otherwise engagements? No; those excuses wouldn’t even have worked seeing how Eric Stuart obviously stayed onto the series and was inn the booth every week voicing James, so why couldn’t he have done Brock too while he was there? The plot-hole and disappointment to fans of losing one of the series’ best characters to-date is as strange a quandary as its plot-motif. The tropical island adventures are something non-canonized in the original games [The Seafoam Islands are featured, but aren’t nearly as extensive and they wouldn’t have changed the name while keeping other features, routes, gyms, and characters in-tact] – leaving us to question how and why the concept-pitch came to be in the first place?

A Phenomenal Ending Arc

The Orange League Finale Vs. Drake Is The Elite Four We Never Got In Indigo League & Supplies Epic Battle Action Of Any Pokéfan’s Dreams

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

The idea sounds good on paper – islands and tropical environments are the most beautiful settings for the adventurousness core to the world’s heart – and has some clever and respectably-bold innovations and lore expansions like surfing beyond a HM to a primary route of transportation and far more exposition on biological themes like food source prompting micro-evolutionary changes like on the island of pink pokemon. Te series’ concept was basically Alola before Alola. Generation 7 did this exact concept far better later-on in a Hawaii motif that went beyond setting to even redesigning several iconic Gen 1 mons in a tropical aesthetic that only improved their designs like Alolan Raichu, Muk, Meowth, and Marowak and wowed by its phenomenal legendaries, great story, and diversification – but here, it’s too similar and bland. The islands are pretty much all the exact same, and for 60+ episodes.. a tiresome drag after a while that again hints on the season’s biggest flaw: non-necessity.

A Tropical Expansion Of Lore

Far More Exposition On Biological Themes, Bold Complete-Divergence From The Video Games Of Respectability, & A Fine Motif-Wise Transition To Johto

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

We could’ve just ended a masterpiece Kanto run the same way it began without this whole Orange Islands schtick that does lull in the middle and siphon steam from the endgoal [although it does end on a very strong note that skillfully wraps up the whole 100+ ep arc and all character arcs with a bow]. Great features like the aesthetic serving as a soft-intro reverberating many of Johto and its roster’s charms and more teases of Ash and Misty’s budding romance with spicy quotes like ‘could a kiss really change a person?’ ‘we’ll have to find out..’ and comical obliviousness of Ash to her crush on him with quotes like ‘Romance is the most important thing in the world!’ ‘Not more important than catching more Pokémon!’ in addition to its aforementionend pros do drive and save the season overall, but it’s still far more lackluster as a whole compared to Indigo League and unjustifiable as a high-risk, low-reward continuation proposition of the animé.


A TV Animé Of Legacy & Importance

A Proof-Of-Concept With Great Characterization, Japanese Vibrance, A+ Vocal Acting, An Iconic Theme, Visual Dynamism, & Genre-Diverse Weekly Adventures, The OG Animé Was Instrumental In Evolving The 2D Video Game To World’s Biggest Franchise – & Entertaining To-Date

Photograph Courtesy Of: TV Tokyo x The Pokémon Company

Overall, Indigo League is a TV animé of legacy and importance amongst the best children’s-focused [but universally-enjoyable] shows available. Not an overstatement, the original 52-week run of IL was instrumental in proof-of-concepting the IP beyond 2D and mechanizing the evolution of its view by the general public through invoking thhe power of cinema and storytelling to breathe new life and flesh out the idea and characters of the pop-culture revolutionizing video games Red/Blue. The weekly adventures are genre-diverse inn everything from westerns to horror to comedy to sci-fi, villain hilariously-remixed into a socially-commentative criticism of big-business capitalism befit with slapstick and Pikachu-capturing incompetence, soundtrack iconic from its opening rock power-ballad theme, and visual capability impressive in extrapolating the dual-staged chesslike stillness of the VG screen-version to real-life battles of godlike creatures wielding thunderbolts, flamethrowers, ice beams, and earthquakes. All of this is noting, though, compared to the series’ heart on its sleeve and best achievement: characterization – from each starter and a slew of side-characters like the lovably-awkward Psyduck and disrespected musician Jigglypuff to its main characters of phenomenal chemistry in its trinity of Ash, Misty, and Brock to its LGBTQ+-fluid villains Jessie, James, and Meowth. The only flaw of it forsaking a clear-cut ending to go to the islands and a bizarre, strictly-noncanonized tropical motif can’t forsake how much of a herculean pleasure it is to watch the original animé – as special and caringly-crafted as its original 151 creatures and accompanying games it’s no shock got a version homaging the animé in Yellow. A TV evolution of concept potential from 8-Bit black-and-white video game screens to the world’s biggest franchise by fine characterization, Japanese vibrance, genre-diverse weekly adventures from horror to sci-fi, lore/overworld expansion, visual aptitude, hilarious meta-comedy, & iconic ’90’s rock theme, The OG Animé is legendary kids’ entertainment and pure saturday morning, sugary-cereal crazed cartoon magnificence.

Official CLC Score: 8.9/10