Furthering the dominance of anime in children’s entertainment is the mega-blockbuster TV series, trading card game, movie franchise, and toy giant: Pokémon. Since we’re focusing on television shows in this section, we’ll only try to cover the FOUR HUNDRED or so episodes that have been created so far! While in reality that is a gargantuan task that can’t be tackled in a brief overview article such as this, I’ll try to walk you through the basics.
To date, there have been 8 seasons of Pokémon and over 350 episodes. The 2004 American release is only season 7. The shows are about 20 minutes in length.
The story of Pokémon is strictly marketed for children. It’s a fantasy world where kids go train their own little Pokémon to battle for prestige and prizes. The pinnacle of the Pokémon world is reaching the coveted ”Pokémon Master” rank. As the show goes, the main character of Ash Ketchum seeks to achieve mastery and perfection due to his special love for Pokémon creatures. It often gives him the edge when battling against ridiculous odds. At his side is his own Pokémon, the strangely cute and fluffy Pikachu. In addition, Ash’s buddies Brock, Misty, May, Max and some 400 additional animated characters.
In his quest to become the greatest Pokémon master alive, Ash must capture as many wild Pokémon as he can. Each Pokémon presents a new challenge as they come with unique powers and abilities. Ash has to use cunning, guile, and discretion in choosing one of his own Pokémon to battle the wild Pokémon at stake. If he wins (and he often does), the wild Pokémon joins his team and expands his arsenal.
The steadfast Professor Oak helps out Ash along the way by lending his expertise and knowledge in handling Pokémon. On the other side of the fence, the evil Team Rocket constantly attempts to steal Ash’s Pokémon in order to please their head boss and his plans for world domination.
Pokémon is a great show that leads viewers all over the world in a fantastic hyper-adventure that could literally leave your head spinning! That’s because in 1997 an infamous episode on December 16th aired and sent about 700 kids to the hospital with epileptic shock. That is the true power of Pokémon right there!
Now, the value of this show to the average adult is rather minimal, but for kids this show is like crack. Not to say that they’ll become junkies and pass out in a washroom stall near you while curled up in a ball, but kids take their Pokémon VERY VERY VERY seriously. It’s really the interactive aspect of the show that makes things interesting. Kids can battle with their own Pokémon in the card game version of the show or even the video game version of it.