The Pokemon generation is strong. I should know; I’m a proud member.
I can still recall the first time I saw Pokemon. Tiny child me, slurping High-C and eating tv dinners, was shocked and awed by the flashy powers of these cute little animals. It was so cool to see new and awesome pokemon every week and watch Ash struggle to defeat those gyms.
And oh, when I found out there were video games where you could catch your own Pokemon, going on your own adventure, I couldn’t ask my parents for a video game upgrade fast enough. That Christmas was the best thanks to a pink Gameboy Color and a copy of Pokemon Gold. It also made me giddy when Pokemon Go became a thing and everyone freaked out. No one can handle the Second Coming.
No one can resist the urge to catch ’em all
Or, perhaps, maybe that was just an experiment. Maybe Pokemon’s real comeback is just on the horizon. I was poking around, looking for things to blab about, when I stepped upon yet another new thing that gave me pause. Pokemon, one of the big milestones of my childhood, is being remade. More specifically, the first season is getting made into a movie.
That’s right, Pokemon will be back with a vengeance (or so it claims). To celebrate Pokemon’s anniversary, the 20th movie is gonna remake the entirety of season one with some drastic changes. We have a new girl and guy replacing Brock and Misty and it appears all Pokemon are fair game in the region of Kanto. That’s right; we got piplups, duskskulls, even damn incineroar showing up on an island that was once super secluded from the world. The last one is the one that gets me really scratching my head, as I recall that Alolan pokemon were supposed to be new to the world, but I digress.
Give ’em the chair!
Usually, I have mixed feelings about things like this. But this time around, I find myself feeling oddly ambivalent. I’m not excited, frightened, angry, or overjoyed. Rather, I’m curious and oddly amused.
My amusement comes at just how freaking long this franchise as a whole has managed to last. A silly little cartoon about tiny animals you collect, carry, and then fight with has spread like a successfully crafted plague; we continue to bleed money for games, cards, stuffed animals and other merchandise more than twenty years later. The mania has certainly died down from the insanity of the 90s but the want and love still run strong; I myself had some trouble getting the latest Pokemon game due to it being sold out.
Money money money….
But for all the love we give it, the Kanto is isolated in a way that’s hard to describe. Effectively, it’s hard to see the very first seasons in the Pokemon cartoons and the “universe” as it is now because so much has changed. The franchise has morphed and evolved over this twenty year period – as any franchise should – and has an entirely different feel to it than the old show did. But, seeing the birthing moments of the show, littered with new Pokemon and the new styles we’ve come to expect, it feels like those moments have been reassimilated back in. There will never be anything that can replace the Indigo League, but seeing it memorialized and put on a golden pedestal feels tribute-like. It’s like when Batman worked with The Grey Ghost, voiced by the Batman of the sixties.
I will not cry… I will not cry…
What I find myself curious about is how they plan to resurrect this Goliath without a few of the limbs. Truth be told, part of the reason Pokemon did as well as it did in the West was thanks to some of the packaging around it. The music scores were insanely good (Pikachu’s Jukebox was always my favorite) and the hype around guessing and collecting these creatures was super hardcore, especially in the toy market (Gotta Catch ‘em All, mommy, ka-ching). So without that hype, and those rockin’ tunes, is this movie gonna do as well as the series did?
Probably not, and that probably won’t be what matters. What matters is that this is gonna (hopefully) be an awesome little bit of nostalgic candy peppered with some Sun and Moon caramel. As a die-hard Pokemaniac, I’m gonna definitely give the movie the best shot I can and just drink it all in.
Or if it sucks, I’m gonna bring fire and brimstone down.
What are your thoughts about the remake? Feel free to comment below. And don’t forget to like and comment for more content like this.