Top critical review
on September 29, 2002
Pokémon is the story about Ash Ketchum and his friends, Misty Williams and Brock Harrison. Ash's goal is to become a Pokémon Master. Misty's goal is to be "the best at everything" but, more specifically, a Water Pokémon Master. Brock's goal is to be the world's best Pokémon breeder. Pokémon are the animals that inhabit their world. They come in many different species (mouse, cat, dog, etc.) and types (electric, grass, water, fire, etc.). Each Pokémon trainer trains his or her Pokémon to battle other Pokémon and win badges to compete in Pokémon Leagues. Ash, Misty, and Brock must deal with Jessie, James, and Meowth of the evil Team Rocket, who want to steal Ash's first Pokémon, Pikachu, and usually other Pokémon as well. This Japanese animation series is an advertisement for the Pokémon video games, and the episodes' plots are usually simple, but this is actually an enjoyable series. Common themes are friendship, not giving up, parting ways with a dear friend, and other good morals. Parents and guardians that are concerned about the violence need not worry. Yes, the kids have their pets fight each other, but they also must learn to take care of and love their pets. Girls will find a strong female role model in Misty. Overall, this is a fun, simple, warm-hearted, rather repetitive series. However, despite how much I like the anime, the DVDs are not worth your money. Each episode is probably less than twenty minutes long, and there are only three episodes on each DVD. You would be paying the price of this DVD for around one hour of Pokémon. That's ridiculous. They don't even include the Japanese vocal tracks with English subtitles or the fun music videos from the TV airings. You can rent these same English-dubbed episodes on VHS. If you really want this series on DVD, my advice to you is to buy the movies and the special, "Mewtwo Returns", and wait for box sets of the series.