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Pokemon Anime Analysis: Introductory Arc

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@Karamazov It's all ready, mon-capitan! Now get your squirrelly ass over here. It was sorta your idea XD.

Well, let's begin the first installment of

Seasons Covered
Season 1: Indigo League


As the name implies, this arc introduces the concept of pokemon and pokemon battles to us. Everything gets its start here. A show is only as good as its intro, and pokemon is no exception. The anime has its ups and downs, but it wouldn't be what it is now without it's beginning.

The Characters:

The anime is pretty straightforward, introducing the primary protagonist shortly after explaining the world of pokemon. Ash starts out pretty n00by and well, downright stupid. I can't blame him for his lack of common sense though, what else can we expect from a kid raised by a single mother who encourages her ten-year-old son to travel around the country alone?

Despite the questionable parenting though, I did like Ash's portrayal in this arc of the anime. He reminds me a lot of me when I started my pokemon journey, though I didn't know how to leave my house, so I guess in that sense he's smarter than me. Ash started out as an ignorant twit who gradually improves his technique. He also gets a rival in the form of Gary, Professor Oak's Grandson, but Gary was portrayed as an arrogant douchebag who can drive a convertible at 10 years old. Good thing we don't see him a lot! /Sarcasm

But what is a journey if you are all alone? I mean, who is gonna corroborate your story when you tell people you saw a giant freaking fire bird? Face it, being alone sucks pokeballs. Not to worry though, the writers thought of this, and gave us not one, but TWO secondary Protagonists. They couldn't just give us any old friends though. For an anime this epic, we're gonna need some REAL firepower. Well, I don't know how much fire these two gym leaders can bring, but you have to admit, Misty can be quite fiery. And Brock is always looking to stoke the flames of love. Brock and Misty were quite handy in the intro of the anime, always providing Ash with advice and knowledge not included in the pokedex.

The trouble was, aside from Misty's fear of bugs and Brock's constant flirting, we didn't really see much characterization for them. Don't worry though guys, there is plenty of time for you to get your spotlight. Yes, even you, Team Rocket. Though your introduction is far from what would ultimately be your claim to fame, you still had a very big impact on the anime. Without you, the anime would be nothing but a glorified version of neopets, with constant happiness all around and nothing to fight against.

The silly plans and even sillier mechas kept us on our toes, and while we were still fed the message that friendship and love will always win, Team Rocket showed us that the world was far from a happy place. Oh who am I kidding? Any world that has Jessie, James and Meowth dressing up in painfully obvious disguises is great!

The Pokemon:

The pokemon introduced had the most developed personalities of any pokemon introduced in later seasons. Ash would get many pokemon on his journey, but the pokemon he would obtain first would definitely be among his strongest, if not THE strongest pokemon that he owns. All pokemon obtained in this arc had equal time to shine and tell us who they are. The only problem I had with the pokemon of this arc was, well, where the hell did Ash get 30 Tauros?!

Oh, right. Moving on!

Plot Overview:

The plot is simple. Get 8 badges, win the league. In between the gyms, Ash and friends meet many people and pokemon and learn important lessons. The battle against Brock kinda pisses me off, because no amount of water should ever make an electric attack hurt a ground type. Other than that, and the fact that Ash never WON half of his badges *seriously, making the gym leader laugh should NOT be criteria for earning a badge*, the plot was fun. I especially enjoyed the episodes that made the First Movie canon, you know, the ones with Mewtwo's cameos? Awesome.


All in all, a good beginning. This set up the main pattern of the anime and experimented with many factors and gimmicks. Some worked, and some, not so much. This established what would be a great, long-lasting anime that people could enjoy, no matter what their age!


Though the animators claim that Pokemon was set to end after the Pokemon League, a year and a half-long run, it is not entirely believable due to the appearance of Ho-oh in the first episode. While it can be argued that they may have well thought that and end the series with Ash winning the league, that would beg the question of "then why is there a Ho-oh in episode 1"?

And there we have it! That's the first arc of the pokemon! Next time, we will head to the Indigo League! Don't worry, the other sections will be more filled out as we uncover more and more of this gem!

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  1. Master Mew's Avatar
    Ho-oh was featured in the first episode to give the Pokemon world a sense of scope - to gently remind viewers that the world isn't so cut and dry, and even Professor Oak doesn't know everything.

    No name was given, and as I recall the design saw some minor tweaks later on, so my guess is that at the time it was just a nameless mystery they threw in, not an allusion to a future revelation.
  2. Karamazov's Avatar
    "then why is there a Ho-oh in episode 1"?
    What Mew said. And to give Gen II a little early advertizing.

    Sort of disagree on Misty and Brock not having a lot of characterization. Misty had a romantic side and would often try to help those who were in love. She also liked to get girly once in a while. Brock had to grow up fast in order to take care of his 10 siblings, thus why he's so motherly towards the group and why he has quite a few skills to take care of them.

    I really liked this analysis (Hehe, "anal"), though it is a little bare-bones. What about the individual story arcs within the series? (Sabrina's storyline, Charizard's disobediance.) Other than that, it was pretty good.

    All pokemon obtained in this arc had equal time to shine and tell us who they are.
    Well, except for Krabby, Primeape, Goldeen, Staryu, Starmie, Geodude, Onix, and Zubat.
  3. Ranger Jack Walker's Avatar
    ^You forgot Pidgeotto. Did it do anything other the obligatory "search for Team Rocket" ?


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