Pokemon mini-series breathes new life into classic

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Pokémon. One of the most recognizable anime/video game series of all time. Upon hearing the name, fans think of Ash Ketchum, the iconic Pikachu and Jesse and James, the hilariously idiotic Team Rocket duo. But the series has been dying. With 17 seasons and a rehashed storyline, the series needed new life. That is what “Pokémon: Origins” has accomplished.

“Origins” is a four episode mini-series based on the story of the Red and Blue games. The anime’s episodes are split into “files,” with each one having a specific name. Each episode starts with the video game’s famous start menu, with the “New Game” and “Options” choices, and, after episode 1 the “Continue” choice fans are so accustomed to.

The anime starts with the famous speech given by Professor Oak at the beginning of the original games. Afterward, it cuts to the battle between a Gengar, a famous Ghost-type, and a Nidorino, a famous Poison-type, with Red, the series protagonist, watching the battle on his computer. It’s obvious from the first couple of minutes of the anime that the writers were going for that touch of nostalgia that the Pokémon series desperately needed.

One negative I have with the anime is that is was short. The story seemed to be a little rushed, and you mostly see recaps of the most important events, such as the gym battles and each member of the Elite 4. I wish that they had made the anime longer and shown the entire journey of Red, instead of bits and pieces. However, I am glad that they added the story of Cubone and its mother to the anime, even if it did tug at the heartstrings. The scene with Cubone’s dead mother ascending to the afterlife is one of the single greatest and saddest moments in anime history.

All-in-all, I would rank Origins in the top five anime series I’ve watched, even if it was severely short, just because it brought back what made Pokémon so great in the beginning: a compelling story.