(Yoshi Suggests) Pokemon: The Origin

First off: Who’s finally cashing in her Yoshi Day IOU? Aw yeah. And instead of Tales of Xillia (because my PS3 is upstairs and I still can’t do stairs yet), I’m getting Pokemon Y. (Rather than X, even though X has a blue-ish cover… because, dude, Y is for Yoshi, and that’s good enough for me.) And Nintendo is SMART to cater to those stubborn “Generation I or GTFO” fans like me since this time you get access to the Kanto starters very early on. No more having to engage in arcane trading and transfers to be reunited with the little buggers. I’m going to enjoy steamrolling everything with Blastoise, just like I did waaaaay back in Blue/Yellow. >:D

And yes, not that I’m expecting anyone to ask but I’ll distro friend code-ness on request.

BUT. This post is not about the mothership, but rather, this 4-part OAV that is to the original Pokemon Red/Blue like the Tales of Phantasia anime is to its respective game. That’s right, Pokemon: The Origin.

It’s basically a (very pretty) rehash of the events of the original Generation I games. And by that I mean Red/Blue, since Yellow is more in line with the original TV anime.

The reason I make the comparison to the Tales of Phantasia anime is because both do the same thing– they try to compress an RPG’s worth of plot into 4 25-minute episodes. Because of that, a LOT of things were left out, though for Pokemon it does give a very abridged summary of what happened inbetween.

Here’s where it gets interesting and potentially deal-breaking for those who were expecting the New York-based voice actors that are usually employed for Pokemon. They don’t show up here. I don’t know the details behind the decision, but this time the Los Angeles pool was tapped, which makes for some interesting results for some characters:

– Bryce Papenbrook as Red. Why am I not surprised? Dude’s been hitting stuff out of the park ever since Ar Tonelico 3 (and then Tales of Graces and Sword Art Online). He’s pretty good at the “hot-blooded but not totally boneheaded” roles these days.

– Johnny Yong Bosch as Brock. Need I say more? (Actually, yes. This one is a few years older, and ditches the “goofy horndog” personality.)

– Jamieson Price as Giovanni. AW HELL YES. Send the hate tells, fans of the TV anime, because this man just plain WINS. I mean, who else could you tap to play a dude whose day job is a Gym Leader but is really the boss of an organized crime ring? It’s not that TV Anime!Giovanni was bad– I thought his over-the-top accented mob boss voice was amusing– but this one just takes the awesomesauce to 11.

You see the other Gym Leaders but they don’t have speaking roles but their lines are “subtitled” in the style of in-game text. You even see some of that elsewhere, too. Yes, “It’s super-effective” is part of it. XD

The Pokemon themselves “speak” differently than in the TV anime; they growl and react and otherwise vocalize like… monsters. In some cases they did try to at least emulate the general sound (e.g. Charmander is still high-pitched).

I think this OAV was intended for older fans, those who perhaps played the first and/or later generations, wandered away and maybe thinking of getting back in. It’s certainly more… hardcore? compared to the light-and-funny TV anime. Watch the first match between Charmander and Squirtle, and you’ll see what I mean.

Also, for obvious reasons, BOOOOO at a certain battle in ep. 4. Oh come on. Hydro Pump should have one-shotted Charizard! really? Oh well, at least I got to see a Blastoise in here. :P

If you’re a Gen I Pokemon fan itching for a nostalgia trip, give The Origin a whirl. As of this posting, you can watch all of it for free (AND no ads!) right off the Pokemon TV website.

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