Pokemon Origins: Reviving the Pokemon Anime Franchise

Even though I’ve played every generation of the Pokemon games, like many people in the Pokemon fandom I stopped watching the anime many years ago. Many people found that the anime was getting stale and formulaic. It started having characters which I couldn’t connect to the same way as in the first few seasons and the conflicts had little depth. While I still watched the movies, I had basically given up on watching the actual anime series, waiting for a revamp that never seemed to come.

Pokemon Black and White Anime

Pokemon Black and White Anime

When Pokemon Black and White came out, more fans of the game began to watch the anime again. Encouraged, I watched the first few episodes but I still found myself disappointed.

It was okay, I guess. But, could the Pokemon anime ever be engaging and cool again?!

Everything changed when I saw Pokemon Origins.

Red and Green from Pokemon Origins

Red and Green from Pokemon Origins

This beautifully animated and 4-episode short series used a lovely updated art style and goes back to the original Pokemon games as source material. It follows the journey of Red and his rival Green as they beat gym leaders, fight team rocket, and discover the mysteries of the Pokemon world. As soon as I finished it, I watched it over again- its just that good.

Over all Pokemon Origins is concise, well animated and made me cry several times. I would explain in detail exactly when and why it made me cry but then I would ruin a lot of the plot-points since the series is only 4-episode.

Red and his Charmander from Pokemon Origins

Red and his Charmander from Pokemon Origins

In my friend group Pokemon Origins has been hailed as “super super awesome” and “an hour-long commercial for mega evolution that is full of nostalgia”. Spoiler: I totally agree with both statements. Even though my first Pokemon ever was a Pikachu, and Ash’s main Pokemon is Pikachu, I still feel like the little yellow rodent is over-rated as the mascot of the franchise. My favorite original starter evolution chain is Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard, so it was exciting to see Red and his Charmander set out together, and to watch it evolve into a Charizard as the two fought together.

Pokemon Origins restored my faith that the franchise is capable of working on their anime to make it good again. Due to that restored hope and a few positive reviews I’ve decided to watch new the Pokemon X & Y anime series to give it a shot. The art style is also different in the X & Y incarnation from the previous series (though not the same as Pokemon Origins) and Ash is still the main character with his Pikachu.

I still highly recommend Pokemon Origins! Watch it!

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