My Pokemon anime viewing experience from 1998
by, 18th August 2013 at 08:45 PM (1116 Views)
Here is my Pokemon anime viewing experience for someone who has been watching from the beginning:
1998/1999: Like most people I got into the show during Kanto and watched the show religiously in new episodes and repeats. I've probably rewatched this saga more than any other, simply because KIDSWB used to rerun it to death and I always saw the same episodes over and over.
2000: Watched all of Orange Islands, still a bit Pokemon fan
2001-2003: Johto started and while I was excited at first, after about 20 episodes I began to lose interest. The show had suffered a massive loss of quality from the first two seasons, and then it hit its absolute breaking point when Charizard and Squirtle left, and the GS ball was abandoned with no resolution. When those 3 events happened I knew the writers didn't give a shit about the show anymore, (of course we didn't know at the time that Takeshi Shudo quit the show sometime into Johto, so that accounts to it), and the tedious fillers didn't help matters. Surprisingly I didn't stop watching though, because I thought the anime was going to end when Johto concluded. Misty was flanderized for the most part and lost most of her personality quirks from the first two seasons, Ash's Johto Pokemon weren't as interesting as his Kanto set, and Brock would eventually settle into his repetitive rut. The league was the highpoint however with Ash beating Gary and Charizard/Squirtle returning.
2003-2005: This was the AG era, and compared to Johto, my interest in the anime was revitalized. Ash became a better character, his Hoenn Pokemon were much better, May proved to be a much better developed female lead than Misty, and the Contests were a welcome addition to the series at the time. Brock was also still good, and I'm glad he returned. Unlike most, I also didn't mind Max as a character, although I can see why others didn't like him. It honestly felt like the writers had learned what went wrong with Johto and tried to fix all these mistakes with AG. More importantly character development returned to the series, particularly with May and her rivals.
2006: Battle Frontier unfortunately is known for the VA change. This was the first saga I watched in Japanese though, so I had already seen it in its original form before the dub. I did like how it wrapped up AG's plots, like Ash's Brain battles and May's Kanto GF, and was decent for a filler saga. Its a bit of a shame that 4kids didn't finish dubbing AG though.
2007-2010: The DP era I enjoyed, but at this point it was when I knew the show was never going to end unless Ash won a league. Dawn's inclusion of the show made it obvious we were going to have a new female lead every gen (back when May was introduced, we didn't know this cycle was established yet), and Brock stayed for no reason at all. I enjoyed what others did about DP, the battles/villains/rivals, etc.....but I agree this is where the group dynamics felt stale for the first time, and the length was a bit absurd. Still the highlight of Ash as a trainer was the best part of this arc.
2011-Present: I watched the first 30 or so episodes of Best Wishes, and then began to lose interest. I then only started to watch the important eps like the Gyms and tournaments and not the fillers. Right before the league was when I stopped watching entirely. I couldn't stand how reset this saga was. I really like Cilan but one character isn't enough to save an entire arc. The TR stuff was also squandered.
Overall I think my Pokemon anime time has come to an end, unless the XY series blows my mind, I'm pretty much going to pretend the series ended with DP. I don't watch shows with no endings that go on forever, and 13 years was a good enough time as any. Probably the saddest thing about the anime is all of us original fans from 1998 never got to see Ash's story conclude. If I knew this when the show first started and that the series would go on for 20 years indefinitely, I probably would have never gotten into it in the first place.
It was a good run. I will watch the Origins special however. :)
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