In my opinion, the Pokemon Anime desperately needs to be rebooted. Want to hear my ideas?
Before I jump into my ideas for an anime reboot, let me state my history with Pokemon and the anime. I’ve been playing the main Pokemon RPGs since the beginning, and just like the games, I’ve been watching the anime from the beginning. However, around the third generation, I got a little bored of the same old same old and stopped watching. Each episode seemed like the same thing with Team Rocket, Ash and his Pikachu. After a long hiatus from the show, I checked out the newest Pokemon Black and White anime. A few things did change for the better, but many things were exactly the same.
Now, I honestly believe they could reboot the series and sell it to a much older audience, like myself. It may even appeal to the younger crowd, depending on TV ratings and junk. What really started my thoughts on the subject? I think it really started after watching the anime trailer for the new Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 video game.
I wasn’t the only one excited from the action and direction they went with this trailer. Pokemon fans around the net loved it and believed it was better than the anime from the past five generations! Of course, that was just a six minute video. What can really be taken from the video and applied to an entire anime series? Well, I’ve been thinking really hard about that.
Lets start out with the Artwork of the anime. Long time fans of the anime will notice a slight change in the artwork since the show started. I think it can, and should, go further to appeal to both old and new crowds. Looking around the net, you can see awesome fanart of various Pokemon trainers, mainly the original trainer from the Red, Green, Blue, Yellow series, also known as Generation 1. Now I’m not saying the artworks needs to be extremely detailed like the image to the right, but it should be much more detailed than the dull, boring art seen in the current anime.
When it comes to the storyline of the Pokemon Anime, the current show uses the same old format. Ash goes around collecting badges while trying to become a “Pokemon Master.” He meets a few friends, usually makes friends with the Gym Leaders, and deals with Team Rocket, even if there is no Team Rocket in the current region. After receiving all eight badges, he enters a Pokemon League tournament of sorts. The last few anime generations have tried including storylines from the video games, but I think it is done very poorly. They may add a character for an episode or two along with a certain Pokemon. If not, they may make a short movie with one of the legendary Pokemon.
It’s true that the first two generations of Pokemon games didn’t have much of a story to tell, but the last three have added more and more story to their games, even adding a few cut scenes and a ton of dialogue. Adding all this story into an anime would be spectacular. Of course, each region would have to be separated into their own stories and characters, just like the games. Each region’s storyline can be slightly connected to each other, mainly Johto’s and Kanto’s, but Johto will take place a few years after Kanto, just like the game’s storyline.
In the new anime, the starting character can go out on their adventure from the first town of the region — Pallet Town, Nuvema Town, etc. Just like the game, they will choose one starter Pokemon and have a rival who chooses a starter Pokemon with a type advantage. The character and rival angle will only be a start on the storyline. Every region has their own antagonistic Pokemon faction that has its own agenda. Kanto and Johto have Team Rocket, Hoenn has Team Magma and Aqua, Sinnoh has Team Galactic, and Unova has Team Plasma. Team Rocket didn’t have a huge storyline other than stealing people’s Pokemon and ruling the world, but the other three teams had much more in-depth plans. Spreading those plans throughout each region’s series would be the other element to making a complete storyline.
As we all know, there are two versions of each generation with minor differences at first. These differences usually aren’t big enough to make changes in the anime, but the third addition to the first two versions will usually mix things up.
- Yellow was really a game version of the anime, even though the anime was incomplete, so that version can be ignored.
- Crystal was very similar to Gold and Silver, but a whole storyline with Eusine and Suicine was added, which can easily be added to the Johto storyline.
- Emerald made a much bigger change with a Gym Leader and Pokemon League Champion. That particular change could be a bit difficult to make in the Hoenn storyline. Maybe a story could be laid out with the Gym Leader and Champion switch. The main character could meet up with the Gym Leader who decided to leave his Gym and become Pokemon League Champion. The former Pokemon League Champion can show up here and there, just like in the game.
- I haven’t played Platinum yet, so I can’t say much about that.
- When it comes to Black and White, there were major changes in the storyline and region. It would be best to have two different Unova series, one taking place years after the first, just like the games.
Sticking to the region’s story and time frames would make each series great, mainly for Kanto and Johto. Those two regions were tied together quite a bit, and even the main character and rival of Kanto can show up during Johto’s series. For those who remember, the rival of Kanto ended up becoming the Viridian City Gym Leader after Giovanni – the leader of Team Rocket – was taken out. The main character of Kanto became Pokemon League Champion and would train in Mount Silver.
After collecting all the Gym Badges, the main character can challenge the Pokemon League. Now, the current anime has made the Pokemon League a type of tournament, which is unlike the Pokemon League in all Pokemon games. The real Pokemon League is four tough trainers and the Pokemon League Champion. The protagonist of the anime should have to face all five of these characters in battle to become the new Pokemon League champion. Each character can add a bit of back story to the anime to make things a bit interesting.
After all of this happens, the series can end and switch over to the new region for a new storyline and set of characters.
The huge list of characters are a huge part of every Pokemon game, but many have been ignored in the current anime. As mentioned earlier, each region should be split up into their own anime series. One series will be for Kanto, one for Johto, one for Hoenn, one for Sinnoh, and two for Unova. Unlike the current anime, one character should not be going through all five regions with the same starter Pokemon (Ash and Pikachu), nor should he call upon his older Pokemon to help him in tough battles, and nor should Gym Leaders accompany the current main character on his journey, it doesn’t make sense! Instead, each region should begin with a new trainer starting his Pokemon journey in his home town. He should choose one starter Pokemon like usual, and he should not collect all of the other starters by himself. An exception to the starter rule may be Red in Kanto. Even in the games, Red has collected all three Kanto starters. As you may have noticed, I called him Red, not Ash or anything else. For the first two generations, the main protagonist was one color and the rival was another color. Later on, each character had their own names.
- Kanto had Red and Blue (Green in Japan).
- Johto had Gold and Silver.
- Hoenn had Brenden and May.
- Sinnoh had Lucas, Dawn, and Barry.
- Unova 1 had Hilbert, Hilda, Cheren, and Bianca.
- Unova 2 had Kyouhei, Mei (English names still unknown), Cheren, and Bianca.
As you can see, there’s no need for characters to travel around with Gym Leaders or any other newly created characters in the anime. Sure, Kanto and Johto didn’t have as many characters as the other regions, but there are still quite a bit to choose from. If you think the main character should explore the region with a partner, you could always bring in the nameless female counterpart, just like the later regions did. Crystal added a female counterpart to Johto, and Fire Red and Leaf Green added a female counterpart to Kanto. Pair these male and female characters together as they go through their journey collecting badges, or let one collect badges and the other do something else, like those Pokemon Musicals and Contest. The male protagonist chooses a starter Pokemon, the rival chooses a starter Pokemon with a type advantage over the male protagonist, and the female protagonist chooses a starter Pokemon with a type disadvantage to the male protagonist. That’s pretty much the way it has been, with the exception of Hoenn. In the Hoenn game, the rival will is male is the main character is female, and vice versa. A third character named Wally is always added with a completely different Pokemon named Ralts. In the Hoenn manga, they have set starters.
There’s only one male and female as the main character and rival. If you were to look at the various anime, manga, and trailers throughout Pokemon, the characters and Pokemon would be distributed like so:
- Red (Game): Charmander
- Male Blue (Game): Squirtle
- Female FR/LG (Game): Bulbasaur (By Default)
- Red (Manga): Bulbasaur
- Male Green (Manga): Charmander
- Female Blue (Manga): Squirtle
- Gold (Jimmy in Pokemon Chronicles): Cyndaquil
- Silver: Totodile
- Crystal (Marina in Pokemon Chronicles): Chikorita (By Default)
- Brendan: Mudkip
- May: Torchic
- Emerald (Manga): Treecko
- Lucas: Turtwig
- Dawn: Piplup
- Barry: Chimcar
- Hilbert / Hilda: Oshawott
- Cheren: Snivy
- Bianca: Tepig
- Kyouhei: Tepig
- Hugh: Oshawott
- Mei: Snivy (By Default)
Now, if we were to take the Manga storyline and characters, they would all be named after the game’s colors, and their Pokemon would be switched up a bit.
Adding in the Professors who give starter Pokemon, the Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and Pokemon League Champion would add more useful characters into the story. If you look around the net, you’ll see each character has their own back story. Everyone knows about Blue/Green being the grandson of Professor Oak, but not as many know he has a sister named Daisy. If you want to talk more recent, the Unova Pokemon League Champion Alder was the mentor of one of the Elite Four Members in Unova.
Then there’s the antagonists of each region. Some people may think there’s just an entire team for the protagonists to face, but that was never the case. Yes, each team had a huge group of grunts, but many had higher positions in the team, and all teams had one main boss to lead them all. Team Rocket always had the leader Giovanni behind them. Red even faced Giovanni in several Pokemon battles before finally facing him at the Viridian City Gym. Giovanni was a tough SOB, which may be the reason why they didn’t have him in the anime that much. If this new series were to go in the teen/adult themed direction, they can have Giovanni take over Silph Co and hold people hostage, exactly like the first generation of games. The real fans of Pokemon games know there is no need to make up new characters like Jesse and James to be the face of Team Rocket. The most recent group of antagonists – Team Plasma – have the characters N and Ghetsis, who have more story behind them then all other characters in the past four generations of Pokemon! Will you see them in the current anime? Doubt it. This is why Pokemon desperately needs a reboot.
Lastly, of course, there’s the Pokemon. Like the current anime, many Pokemon should be featured throughout the episodes, some even having an entire episode dedicated to one specific Pokemon. When it comes to the Pokemon that are on each character’s team, that should be altered quite a bit. As mentioned earlier, there should be a wide variety of characters implemented into the anime from the video games. Instead of the main character having every starter Pokemon and a Pikachu, they can each have their own starter Pokemon to grow with. Each character and starter Pokemon has already been outlined above. In addition to the starter, they can build full teams of fully evolved Pokemon, not the same old, cutesy, pre-evolved Pokemon. Full teams of fully evolved Pokemon can make for quite interesting battles.
Pokemon battles from the current anime can use a bit of work. A huge beef I have with battles – along with many other long time fans – is the lack of consistency between Pokemon, types, and abilities. Countless times have we seen Pikachu, an Electric Pokemon, shock some type of Ground Pokemon, which goes completely against the rules. This should never EVER happen in the rebooted anime, and the words “Aim for the horn” shouldn’t be uttered. Almost all of the other same rules and physics should apply and never be broken.
The exception to the rules I have is with Pokemon levels. Levels shouldn’t really be a thing in anime, nor should specific evolutions in certain routes or areas. All of that is more of an RPG thing, not an anime thing. Besides, there is no way to track levels in the anime. When it comes to the Pokemon habitats, it wouldn’t make sense to have the pre-evolved form of Pokemon live in a route without the parents. I think it would be find to have a Nidoran in the same place as a Nidorino and Nidoking. Speaking of evolutions, many evolutions have been altered from the game to the anime. I understand it’s lame to have to trade a Haunter to make it a Gengar, along with a few other trade evolutions, but some Pokemon can only evolve with certain stones. Grabbing a stone and using it in the anime shouldn’t be a big deal, yet they still ignore that at times.
With all the new Pokemon abilities, various types and attacks, Pokemon battles can be very interesting in their own ways. Things need to be mixed up a bit instead of the unusual battle styles you see in current anime. Ash makes up crazy battle plans and some how wins when using physical attacks from a Pokemon that normally uses special attacks. Another thing thing that can be included in Pokemon battles are Held Items. Held Items are found all over Pokemon games, but they’re almost never seen in the anime. If they are shown in the anime, they are never used by the Pokemon. I’m sure battles can take a whole new direction, and maybe even include a little more violence if aiming for teens and adults. I’m not saying there should be blood or anything, but even that short Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 clip seemed a bit more violent than the anime. I’m not sure how much violence can be added to Pokemon, nor would I know what the TV Rating will end up being, but more action similar to the trailer would appeal to older fans of the franchise.
Adding all this together would make the perfect anime reboot. Agree or disagree, speak your mind in the comments section about a Pokemon Anime Reboot or the current Pokemon Anime.