Ah, Pokemon. I thought I’d outgrow it, but I’ve come to accept that I’m a player for life. No shame, I embrace it. As the title implies, these tidbits of nostalgic goodness are indeed catered to my generation: the 90s kids who got their hands on Pokemon since Gen 1 and have followed the games ever since. Characters we know and love return with a vengeance, complete with stunning new animation that looks more mature and sophisticated than the current running anime. I mean, just look at the 90s anime versus Generations. The leap in detail and quality is definitely there.

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Be careful who you call ugly in middle school.

Lorelei in particular looks amazing, hands down. As a Gen 1 character, she has been around for a long time and has had multiple appearances, but I’ve never given much thought to her till now.

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Ice, ice, baby.

The animation is undoubtedly Generations’s strength. It’s fluid and well-rendered, portraying a new and engaging look into the Pokemon world. I especially love how Generations got creative with how the Pokemon themselves interact with their environment and trainers. Arcanine and Magnemite being part of the SWAT team, burning down walls and disabling locks? Awesome. Gengar leaking out of Agatha’s Poke ball as a shadowy pool? Yesss. This is the level of immersion and detail I want out of a Pokemon anime. The animation is phenomenal.

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Except whatever the heck this is. Rocket grunts look like they need to go easy on the booze.

The music is another highlight that’s worth mentioning. It’s only natural that the soundtrack is essentially a remix or remastered version of the game OST. My favorite is the new rendition of Indigo Plateau (the Kanto Elite Four’s theme, more or less). It’s ominous and dramatic, putting flair and weight into the E4’s entrance. It makes them look strong and intimidating (at least, until they’re curbstomped by Blue and Red).

Now, on to the bad. My gripe with Generations is the writing. Much of the dialogue is straight out of the games, and while I’m aware that it’s done to keep true to the source, it comes off as stiff and unnatural when spoken aloud. Much of the worst offenses come from Blue/Green, who delivers cringe-worthy lines like “The greatest Pokemon trainer in the world…that is me!”

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I guess it’s fine when you’re just reading that, but saying that out loud, umm…

The voice actors, however, are actually fine for the most part. They did the best they could with the script. The characters sound as they should and the emotional weight is there. Lance sounds intimidating and serious with his deep voice, Blue’s an angry, insecure, cocky SOB, Agatha’s a sly old lady who likes getting under people’s skin, and Lorelei sounds as she looks: cool, smooth, and confident. I just wish there’s better dialogue to back it up.

As for the story, Generations is meant to present highlights of each region, rather than follow a cast and storyline for an extended period of time. That being said, I would not show this to people if I want to introduce them to Pokemon and they have no idea who or what anything is. Generations hits the ground running, with the assumption that you’re already a fan and you’re familiar with the plot and characters based on the games.

My other gripe is the length and pacing. There’s too little too fast. I suppose the shorter runtime, a mere 3-5 minutes, allows for better animation, but at the cost of telling a story with rounded-out, satisfying closure. It’s like being handed a delicious, well-presented appetizer, but you only get a sample and you don’t get to finish it. Good thing it’s a free sampler. You can catch episodes of Pokemon Generations for free on YouTube, where they’re uploaded by the official Pokemon channel. I’ll still watch Generations to the end, as it’s currently ongoing, and I’m curious to see how each region and its set of characters will be treated, for better or for worse.

Animation: 5/5
Story: 3/5
Music: 5/5
Acting: 4/5
Writing: 1/5
Overall: 3.5/5

So, what are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Is this something you’d want to watch, or keep watching? Feel free to comment.

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