Netflix Description – Explore the world of Pokémon with 10-year-old Ash Ketchum and his partner, Pikachu, as they aim for Ash’s ultimate goal: becoming a Pokémon master.
Episode run time – 22-23 mins (approx.)
Number of seasons – 1
My take – Pokémon is, pure and simple, a nostalgia trip – from the first moment you are taken a long time back to primary school and childhood, to conkers and Pokémon cards. A gateway into the world of anime for many, Pokémon has in itself a legacy that my generation can attest to. A global trademark that boasts its own history, the show was, and to an extent remains, an entertaining distraction when in need of light entertainment.
…there is still something fundamentally cool about Pokémon…
As I’ve already mentioned very briefly, a lot of the Pokémon series’ charm lies in the history that comes with it, but at some level it is perhaps necessary to mention that, when watching years on, there is a development in the way that we view the show. Certain elements for example now seem more adult than would have been noticed when watching as a child. Beyond that though, there is still something fundamentally cool about Pokémon. Not in a sense that you would care to admit, but in a guilty-pleasure kind of way. In the kind of way that, years on, you would still absolutely love to become a Pokémon trainer – in exactly the same way that we’d all love to go to Hogwarts and become wizards. Or maybe that’s just me.
There is a history in the Pokémon legend – from the first season to what now spans a number, there have been added films, games and any number of other merchandises. Netflix currently only hosts the first series in this extensive range, but considering the average 22 minute run time and that there are fifty-two episodes that total the first season, we could probably look past that. As it stands anyway, you couldn’t sit down and trawl through the whole lot as you might with another series – the nature of the show (including the too-bright colours, the sometimes very annoying dialogue, and the overly quirky elements (the Pokewrap tops them)) means that really you can only dip in every now and again.
…Pokémon also involves voice talents that border on the constantly annoying…
It probably goes without saying that the script and dialogue within the show is something of a back-bench feature with the show relying heavily on, as already mentioned, the quasi-aspirational notion of Pokémon training. Quirky and in many ways running against the grain in what is recognised as mainstream Western entertainment, Pokémon also involves voice talents that border on the constantly annoying.
With Pokémon, legacy is an entirely relevant to the possible level of enjoyment. Put it this way, if you never watched the show before and if you don’t consider yourself to be a part of the Pokémon generation then the show isn’t worth the watch. But if you, like me, grew up on it then it’s well worth a quick watch every now and again – especially when you have time to kill and don’t want to work too hard to figure out what’s going on (exposition forms a pretty central part of all of the dialogue).
Watch for – A trip into the past and a reminder of what it’s like to be a child with nothing to worry about except that you’ll never be a Pokémon master.