All Things Pokémon: The Franchise and The Charm

Pokémon Go loses its charm. Pokémon Go shows signs of decreasing. Pokémon Go’s fad is fading. Mainly it’s all what the headlines say about Niantic’s viral game that was launched a couple of months ago.

However, as I’ve said before, Pokémon Go made me step back to celebrate the years of my Pokémon phase. I’ve been re-watching the anime since late July this year—I’m currently on season #5: Master Quest. A few episodes away from Misty and Brock’s departure—which actually helps me sharpen my listening skills.

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Pokemon Center Tokyo, Japan. | Source: From Japan Blog

The Pokémon Franchise: Television

A lot of kids discovered Pokémon through the anime whose protagonist is Ash Ketchum. Little did I know back then that the anime is just a part of the big franchise of Pokémon Media Company.

The franchise began as a video game in 1996. Since then, it has been expanding into many kinds of production, such as anime, television miniseries, movies, manga, as well as toys & merchandise (cards, plushies, etc.)

I’m not into the gameverse so I started exploring the alternative anime: Pokémon Origins.

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Pokemon Origins characters, Red and Green. | Source: JustPushStart

Origins feature the original characters from the Pokémon Red and Blue video game. It’s considered more faithful to the game’s mechanism and designs. Unlike the ongoing anime, Origins is only divided into four parts. You can watch Pokémon Origins online here.

Origins begins the saga with a young boy from Pallet Town named Red. He is determined to complete his Pokedex and of course, be the best Pokémon trainer. However, his path to achieve his dreams is not an easy one.

I think Origins needs more episodes, but I actually had a good time watching it. Perhaps another boo factor is the artwork quite resembles Digimon Adventures. Although I’m not really sure since I’m not into Digimon.

In this series, Team Rocket is portrayed to be very menacing. Due to Team Rocket trio’s (AKA Jessie, James, and Meowth) running gag in the main anime, sometimes I forget that Team Rocket is a legit terrorist organization.

I find many Poké-fans out there tend to compare Ash and Red, claiming the latter to be better than his anime counterpart. Which I find quite ridiculous since both are aimed to different target audiences.

Ash, in the anime, “resets” his achievement every time he enters new region because it’s how the anime attracts new and younger kids to watch Pokémon.

On the other hand, Red is an exceptional Pokémon battler who eventually proves to the world thru his journey that he’s no longer an ordinary Pokémon-loving boy, but a professional trainer.

 

Manga

There are several rendition of Pokémon manga franchise. Among them are Ash & Pikachu, Pokémon Adventures (Pocket Monster Special in Japan), Electric Tale of Pikachu, and such. All is filed under shonen, fantasy, and adventure categories.

As for Pokémon Adventures, it is a manga adaptation of the Pokémon games by artists Hidenori Kusaka and Mato. It has several arcs with different characters, such as Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, as well as the gym leaders and Professor Oak. I’m currently on Yellow chapter of Pokémon Adventures.

So far, Mato’s Pokemon artwork style is my #1 favorite

Source: Bulbapedia

If you want to start digging the Pokéverse, I highly recommend this manga! The characters are quite relatable. The villains are pure ruthless and also cool (here’s lookin’ at ya, Team Rocket and The Elite Four).

Despite its cute artwork, this manga offers darker theme to its readers, such as Pokémon deaths and fatal injuries.

You can read Pokemon Adventures manga online. Or if you’re using smartphones, you can read for free in MangaRock app. But if the original copies happen to be around your town, please support the artist by buying the original piece.

And here’s Electric Tale of Pikachu (Dengeki Pikachu) by Toshiro Ono.

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Such a cute artwork, right? | Source: Bulbapedia

EToP’s plot mainly follows the anime’s Indigo League and Orange Islands adventures, though not the whole episodes. The protagonists are Ash Ketchum, Misty, and Brock. Unlike the anime, Misty and Brock only tag along with Ash occasionally.

I love this manga’s artwork style. Especially how the characters are shown in alternative outfits.

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One of Misty’s alternative outfits in Electric Tale of Pikachu. Brock is adorable as well. | Source: MangaFox

However, this manga is also known for its controversial and overly sexualizing artwork. It has been revised before entering the US market.

Then, I wonder when will they create a spin-off based on Pokémon Go game?

I’m already seeing enough excitement from the fans through fan-made comics and artworks of the three leaders: the fiery Candela of team Valor, the ever-wise Blanche of team Mystic, and the cinnamon roll Spark of team Instinct.

Adorable Snapchat-style artwork of the team leaders by artist Naaibi on Tumblr

With so many adaptations, Pokémon is sure a very adaptable franchise. Seeing all the stuff we’ve known about Pokémon, I’m sure it won’t die that easily.

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