User Score: 25776
Like many other kids in the late 90s/early 00s, I got caught up in the Pokemon fad. (Well, technically, my older brother got me into it, but still...) I played the games, collected a few of the cards, and I watched the anime series it was based off. The anime is now a long runner, with 14 seasons as of this review, but... was it really worth carrying on with it in the end?
The Pokemon anime starts off with a young boy named Ash Ketchum, who leaves his home of Pallet Town, with dreams of becoming a Pokemon Master. Along the way, he meets and befriends many different people and Pokemon, while having to fight Team Rocket, who constantly try to steal his Pikachu and the Pokemon of the week. In the first two seasons (the Kanto and Orange Islands arcs), the premise was executed well, with decent plots each episode, good humour, well-developed characters, well-choreographed battles, and great villains. However, by the third season (the Johto arc), the show entered seasonal rot. Plots became repetitive, with Ash and co. travelling, finding Pokemon, doing some side quests, gettting gym badges, fighting Team Rocket, and rinse-repeat. The sluggishness wore on, until the breaking moment in which Misty left the show, being replaced with May in the Hoenn arc. At this point, I realised that it wasn't worth carrying on with the anime, so I stopped watching it. And when I did watch a new episode, I simply changed the channel after the first part.
The characters aren't as likable as they used to be. Ash has no personality anymore, and is just your generic shonen anime hero, who for some reason, always gives up his Pokemon before he enters a new region. Brock has now been written out of the show. The female replacements also get annoying, with May being somewhat tolerable, and with Dawn being an utter idiot. They aren't as memorable as Misty. Team Rocket are a shadow of their former selves, and they can't capture Pokemon to save their lives. Why do they still try, even though they fail all the time?
The voice acting is also now poor. Ash sounds too feminine and Meowth has a rubbish New York accent for some odd reason. The other characters' voices ranged from passable to bad.
The humour is bland. The gags involving the Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys, and with Brock falling in love with every pretty girl he met (when he was still in the show) aren't funny anymore. They've been run into the ground.
The animation and art style are decent, but repetitive. You can tell they're just walking past the same woods and mountains they've passed through before, and sometimes, the animation becomes stiff. The battles also get boring, with almost-similar choreography in every episode.
Overall, Pokemon was good while it lasted, but it's now stale. Changing the main cast every arc obviously didn't work. I'm sorry to anyone who is still watching the show, but it's way past its prime, and has lost all its original charm. Just watch the Kanto and Orange Islands arcs and forget the rest.