In This DVD set of Pokémon XY, you join Ash and Pikachu on their continued journey through the Kalos region, as Ash quests to win eight Gym badges so he can enter the Kalos League. He and his team; Serena, Clemont and Bonnie will forge new friendships, encounter new challenges, and uncover deep mysteries.
I remember the first time I saw Pokémon just about 17 years ago, Oh… this 10 year old adventurer “Ash” going out into the world to ‘catch em all’, all one hundred and fifty of them. Yes, the memories, 17 years, 571 Pokémon, and about 5 Regions later time has seemed to pause for the young Protagonist as it’s apparent that he is still age ten. In fact he seems a little younger now than he was at the beginning, but who am I to judge his “Fountain of Youth” ritual.
Onward and upwards!!!
This DVD set comes with 22 action packed episodes, on 3 Discs each containing about two and a half hours of Poké Poké Action! The DVD set comes English only with subtitles, so, if you are a fan of the Japanese voices only well you are out of luck here. This season kicks off at episode 50 in the XY series, Ash already has 3 Gym Badges and is amped to get his forth. In this season Ash has two intense Gym battles, catches some new Pokémon and even rides in a Submarine (‘yes, I too am overwhelmed by the adventure’).
The story is the typical Pokémon format, and from episode to episode it seems to have a chemically consistent formula: the set up (intro), Clement creates an invention to solve a problem, and notably like clockwork one of the main characters cheer him on with somewhat of a “Theme Phrase” ‘Science is Amazing’, which is quite cute sometimes. Continuing the plot Team Rocket usually makes their appearance afterwards with either full interaction with the main protagonists, or just to introduce their “Scheme of the day”. Afterwards focus is returned to the main plot, then Team Rocket’s second appearance is made (Provided the first wasn’t a full interaction) their plan is foiled, they ‘blast off’, then wrap up the episode’s plot. The writers seldom strayed from this format. After watching a couple episodes it began to feel just a bit monotonous.
With a TV-Y7 rating it’s clear that Pokémon is geared for kids. You would on occasion find yourself getting little life lessons about trust, bonds, and believing in each other. The characters are very interesting to say the least, each come brimming with personality; Team Rocket’s appearances however sometimes seems forced, I could have done fine without seeing them for a couple of episodes.
The Art style is rich in color, and the choice of animation is very clean (although I’d still love to see Ash a little older, maybe some wrinkles? He works hard and gets blasted by a lot of Pokémon attacks yet always manages to heal perfectly, I’d love some of what he’s having).
The music selection is just beautiful, always right on cue, dramatic when it needs to be, and nostalgic when it calls for it. It truly brings out the right modes for the various scenes. I personally am not a fan of dubbed anime, most times the voices don’t match the characters or the moods at all, and often, just seems like a cheap replacement to their Japanese counterparts. Luckily, this isn’t exactly the case for Pokémon XY, the English voice acting for the most part is believable, fitting of the characters. It feels like they actually auditioned voices instead of just using the guy, and gal next door who were looking for a quick buck.
All in all, kids will have fun watching this series: however I don’t think the more “grown” Pokémon fans who are accustomed to the older seasons, such as Kanto and Johto, will be able to stomach the XY series for too long. I’d recommend that you buy this for your kids, probably between the ages of seven and maybe thirteen. It has the right elements to keep kids entertained: as for us “ageable folk” (im not that old by the way) we may have a hard time watching the series.
The Pokemon XY DVD set used for this review was provided by VIZ Media.