Pokemon: The Cartoon
It may not seem like much today, but when it premeired the Pokemon anime was a revelation. It seemed fresh; it seemed new. It had heart, comedy, & adventure.
The animation was far more detailed than the shows I'd been watching. Characters were realisticaly proportioned. Scenes had more camera angles than most cartoons, & there were more moving shots. Now, those shots might've been against abstract motion-blur backgrounds, but I hadn't seen that technique before; it imparted a cetrain energy to a scene which other cartoons lacked. If it helped them make their budget for the week, so what? It was effective.
Something else about the show caught my interest: it had a continuous story, & it wasn't just comedy. Sure it was funny, but comedy was just part of the continuing adventure. I had seen adventure series before; I remember enjoying The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, & Ducktails. But I hadn't seen a cartoon try drama or a continous story before. One episode of Pinky & the Brain could be set in the 40's; the next could be in the future, & they were primarely focused on being funny. Pokemon had drama in the 1st episode. Over the next four episodes Ash learned how to catch Pokemon, how to choose the proper monster for a battle, & how to be responsible for the creatures in his care. We saw character change physically too; Caterpie changed from a little green worm to a handsome blue butterfly. Seeing characters progress, seeing Ash make freinds with Pikachu, seeing him learn how to catch & train other magical creatures, was exciting. Sure, Team Rocket might've shown up every episode, but watching them loose was fun. Besides, most series repeated certain plot points each episode.
That may be the problem a lot of adults had with the show; when you grow up you realize a few things. You know thea kid's show isn't going to kill off Charmander, the Stray Pokemon; you know the main character of a kid's show isn't going to be speared by a thousand Spearow in the first episode. And when you grow up you realize the characters aren't progressing that much, & that the story is mostly episodic. But as a kid, one who's been raised on classic Looney Tunes-style shorts? This was new, unpredictable, & exciting.
I still like it tho, because I have a high tollerance for camp, & because I'm far too nostalgic. And I kinda like sappy melodrama. Bye, Bye, Butterfree? I'm still in tears.
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