Pikachu’s Origin Story
Another year, another Pokemon series arrives. This time around, Pokemon Journeys gets a new lick of paint, some interesting stories chock full of different Pokemon species and an adventure that spans multiple regions seen throughout the years. Following Netflix’s acquisition of the wildly popular anime, the first 12 episodes debut on the streaming platform on the 12th June, with a subsequent 12 episodes arriving every 3 months thereafter. This structure is nothing new in the realm of Netflix animes, and the 23rd Pokemon series gets off to a good start with an interesting origin story for Pikachu.
Episode 1 of Pokemon Journeys begins with Ash awakening and deciding to visit Professor Oak in Pallet Town. Meanwhile, a lowly Pichu is ambushed and bullied by several different Pokemon species while living alone out in the wild. Thankfully, a stray Kangaskhan helps it out and takes it under its wing, where little Pichu lives with the small group of other kangaskhan.
Meanwhile, Professor Oak’s camp looks set to begin but inevitably Ash sleeps in and misses the deadline. An impatient Goh manages to convince the Professor against waiting around and off they go, into the forest to learn more about Pokemon where they watch a trainer catching a Caterpie. As Goh continues to exert how knowledgeable he is, the group stumble across a stray Mew that uses the same moves as Nidoking in a one on one fight.
After Goh chases after it for some time, they hurry into the middle of the jungle where the kangaskhan cub gets into trouble and almost falls to its doom. Thankfully Mew is there to save the day, using its telepathy to prevent it from getting hurt. As time goes by, Pichu realizes its time with kangaskhan is over and leaves in the middle of the night for bigger adventures. Only, just before it leaves Pichu evolves into Pikachu.
Some time later, we cut forward to see Ash given his first Pokemon as a trainer – none other than Pikachu himself. The same Pikachu as the one we’ve come to know from the wild. This catches us up to the present as we see Ash has had many adventures with Pikachu while Goh prepares to be the very best, which is where the episode ends.
While the new theme song isn’t all that catchy compared to the original, the animation for the most part is decent and there’s lots of Gen 1 Pokemon here to marvel at too. As a personal gripe, it does feel like an awful lot has been thrown into these 23 minutes but the surprisingly melancholy and poignant moments at the end with Pichu is a really nice touch to this one. The “Who’s that Pokemon” segment is still here too of course and there’s lots to like about the series so far. Let’s hope the rest of the episodes can follow suit!
Published: 03 June 2020 at 12:52 pm on
This review is based on the live showing on POP TV which exclusively aired the first four episodes. Expect the rest to arrive on the 12th June!
Expect A Full Season Write Up For Part 1 on June 12th!