It's been quite awhile since I've seen the Pokemon anime. Like many, as a kid I grew up with the earlier adventures. When Advanced hit, it slowly started turning into a pretty lackluster show. Advanced was still solid, but after that it turned repetitive and just boring. There was really no character development or danger. I haven't seen an episode since Diamond and Pearl. I've recently played through the X game, which has rekindled my interest in the franchise. So, I decided to check out the anime adaption and see if it has gotten any better. It hasn't, but if you've played X or Y it's pretty enjoyable.
The story takes place naturally in the Kalos Region. Ash Ketchum arrives in Lumiose City in hopes of starting a new adventure and becoming a Pokemon master. Along the way in this premiere episode he runs into new Pokemon, new friends, and of course Team Rocket whom once again have followed him. I will give props to the opening for feeling very thematic, something fresh. In this opening we're introduced to Serena, the main female in the X & Y games. It's very cool how the anime recreates the environment from the games, from the Fletchling to Rhyhorn to the mom, it's good stuff for people that have just played those two. Sadly Serena seems to be out of character. I won't fault the writing until I see her interact with the outside world.
When Ash arrives the plot really begins, for better or worst. This is an example where years and years of episodes have amounted to nothing. He acts like a complete amatuer the whole time. It's very grating, especially for people like me that like Ash from the way earlier episodes. It's truly a shame, because this and coming episodes could have been called good if he was a likable and more serious protagonist. Seriously, almost every line he shouts out is cheesy and annoying to hear.
The two new ongoing friends established are Clemont and his little sister Bonnie. This is interesting because Clemont is the gym leader of Lumiose City in the game. It doesn't look like he's a gym leader here. In fact, the battle with Ash is apparently his first ever battle. The fight between Pikachu and Bunnelby is pretty solid. I really don't get however how someone like Pikachu, who by now should be like level 99 is about on par with Clemont's Bunnelby, which apparently is its first fight. But, the actual battle is pretty solid nonetheless.
Team Rocket is back again. Hopefully they won't be appearing every episode because this type of thing gets old fast. Their plan doesn't make much sense. How do they plan to take control of all the Legendary Pokemon of the Kalos Region if they can't even capture Pikachu? It's just silly and shows the writing needs some help. It is neat how Wobbuffet is actually a fighter now. Unfortunately, Team Rocket themselves are still the same exact jokes from eleven seasons ago. Hopefully Team Flare if they appear will turn out be better antagonists.
Overall, Pokemon X & Y premieres more or less what I expected. There are some cool things if you've played the games, such as a very awesome short scene of Mega Blaziken. It's great how the in-game world is replicated. Serena, while not being so far like her in-game self, is already proving to be a better character than the obnoxious Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town. (It's kind of sad since she only appears for less than two minutes while he does for the rest of the episode.) We shall see if this proves to be an entertaining adaptation of the games or another season of boredom and filler.