Pokemon Origins: File 1 Red – Review and Initial Thoughts

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“Red, along with his rival Blue, sets out on a quest to realize Professor Oak’s dream of completing the Pokédex.” – Pokémon TV excerpt

Initial Thoughts

Before watching the first episode of Pokemon Origins, I knew this would be about Red’s adventure through the Kanto region. I tried staying away from watching the Japanese dub versions on YouTube so that I could watch the English version of Pokemon Origins with a fresh mind.

From playing Pokemon Red and Blue version when I was a child (then playing Fire Red and Leaf Green years later), I have a pretty good idea of the main story of the Pokemon Origins special is going to be. Anyone who knows anything about Pokémon should know the main purpose of the Pokémon games, but if I need to explain, it’s to “catch ’em all” – fill up the Pokédex with as many Pokémon as you can find.

Review

Within the first few minutes, I was worried that Red would be a bumbling idiot like Ash Ketchum. He gets a little too excited while running down the stairs at his home, tries to catch an opponent’s Nidoran on Route 1, and gets slaughtered by Blue outside of Viridian City. After a while, he just seems to be portrayed in the role of a novice Trainer. He (obviously) just got his first Pokémon and is learning about Pokémon mechanics. (He should listen to the Pokedex Radio podcast!)

Blue is still a jerk, as expected. I did miss his classic “Smell ya later!” line from the video games. I’m surprised they didn’t leave it in for the special, that would have struck a big nostalgia chord. They did leave in the “You’re still light-years away from facing Brock!” line from the Lass at Pewter City Gym, which made me have a big smile on my face, even though technically the Jr. Trainer is supposed to say it.

The artwork is spectacular, as expected from any Pokémon movie (or special, in this case). I was surprised that the Pokémon did not retain their cries from the anime, they just more or less growled or roared, but that wasn’t too much of a distraction. The idea of Gym Leaders being teachers was a great shift in thought from the idea of them being people you have to battle to get a Badge to make it to the Elite Four.

And what’s with Red talking about his father before he chose Charmander? In the anime, there has never been any mention of Ash’s father. Since Pokemon Origins is based off of the video game, there should be NO mention of Red’s father unless they are planning on fixing that little piece of information for us. Keep in mind, I have not watched the English dub of Pokemon Origins on YouTube at all.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I LOVED the first episode of Pokemon Origins. The 8-year-old in me sat in front of my laptop and didn’t blink once during the whole episode. It was more exciting than I expected it to be while watching it. I’m looking forward to the next episode that will be released on November 18, 2013.

I will be watching the original Japanese version after completing the English dub and comparing them. Like any anime, I’m sure it’s going to be better even though I won’t understand a word.

By the way, Johnny Yong Bosch does the voice of Brock! For those of you who don’t know, Johnny was the main inspiration I had to start producing a podcast. I met him in October 2008 at EXP Con in St. Augustine, Fla., and immediately was interested in becoming a voice over actor. Interest in a career in voice over soon evolved into starting a podcast, which then turned into studying TV and radio production at the University of South Florida. Now, I’m still trying to find my way into voice over as a career.

Watch Pokemon Origins

Pokemon Origins can be viewed on the Pokemon TV app for iOS devices and the Pokemon TV app for Android devices. If you don’t have access to a either of these types of devices, you can view it on the official Pokémon TV website.

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