Pokemon is a cute non violent animated series for children. Those cute little Pokemon took over Japan and then set their sites on North America. Pokemon is a magical animal neglected or abandoned by his owner. Through care, hard work, and love, the Pokemon is recruited to our heroes’ side. Kindness to animals and loyalty to friends is stressed, a similar message one hopes children would learn from their virtual pets like Tamagotchi. To be sure, there is a lot of action in the show, during stylized martial arts sequences in which the Pokemon get to show off their special skills. By and large, however, parents need not worry about their children being dulled by senseless violence.

Pokemon characters

Most of the Pokemon are drawn in what is called the “Super deformed” style, where the cuteness is extremely exaggerated. All the little animals have soft, rounded features and are designed to be lovable. Perhaps the cutest of the characters is Pikachu, who seems to be a cross between a rabbit and a mouse. He’s cute, expressive and very human-like. His relationship with Ash is generally well done. If you gag on the cuteness of Teletubbies you’ll be sickened by Pikachu and her buddies. If you have a higher cuteness quotient, you may actually enjoy the show. It’s good for children to see characters they may very well idolize grow and mature.

And then there’s Team Rocket. They make great villains. They’re goofy, they screw up all the time, they fight with each other but they’re never boring and often amusing. The fact that we see they aren’t really all that bad is also good for children.

Pokemon story

The main story is a simple but original one. It’s not exactly believable, but it’s still fun and quite imaginative. One hundred and fifty Pokemon, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, along with the stories behind some of them are impressive on a whole diversity level. There is a really basic formula to most of the episodes, and it does get very tiring and drags on.

Pokemon dubbing

The next thing to talk about is the dubbing. The dubbing is very good. As the series progressed, the acting kept getting better on the main characters. It’s now reached a respectable level. The extras started getting cast a bit better and acted better as well, plus some extras were very good and were right up there with the main characters. The most impressive and commendable thing about the dub is the writing. It’s wonderful. The dialogue is more faithful to the Japanese version than any syndicated dub to date. Save for maybe one or two times, the writing makes perfect sense with what the characters are doing, what they want to do, or with what’s happening in the background. Unlike Dragon Ball Z, we aren’t missing much, if anything. Pokemon has been handled well in the translation department.

Pokemon music

Now for the music, it remained mostly unchanged. This is another element worthy of praise. The theme may be different (it’s about as good as the Japanese one) and some songs have been added in, but the BGM is all there. Aside from, again, the broadcast of the Dragon Ball Z movies, syndicated dubs haven’t broadcast the original Japanese score for our ears. This really is a treat.

In short, Pokemon is a great show for kids. It is fun entertainment for children, and in a TV season as anemic as this one, that is more than enough achievement for any cartoon.