Pokémon Indigo League: Season 1 collects 52 episodes worth of the original Pokémon anime. This collection presents the first chance that many fans will get to purchase a legitimate copy of the series without importing it.
One thing that the anime got right was making the world it presented truly feel like a world. Pokémon are shown as having natural habitats, distinct behaviours, and individual needs. When the show uses this right it becomes more about battling and lives up to the idea of learning more about different creatures. The show is even willing to show what can happen to the Pokémon if not cared for properly. There are a couple of episodes in which it is quite possible that one of the Pokémon could have died from neglect, or being attacked. Such moments highlight an ability to really examine the implications of the series.
Pokémon’s biggest flaw is also one of its most remembered elements; the Team Rocket trio. Jessie, James, and Meowth show up in almost every episode, and in almost every episode they try to steal Pikachu only to be thwarted. Sometimes they change things by rooting for Ash, but mostly they adhered to a routine that gets tired quickly. Despite this season taking a look at Pokémon from a variety of different angles it just doesn’t seem to know how to end an episode if it isn’t battling. Battling may be the biggest aspect of the games this series is based on, but the series shows it can have a lot more going for it when it broadens its focus.
It should be noted that there are some episodes missing. Any episode that was never dubbed remains unlocalised in this collection. In addition, some episodes that did have an English release (such as Holiday Hi-Jynx, or Princess vs Princess) are absent from this box set due to them no longer being in circulation.
In total seven episodes are missing from this collection. Occasionally, this means that an episode will flashback to something that was omitted, but the resultant continuity issues are few. Their loss is a shame but will only detract from this box set if a viewer particularly misses one of them.
Pokémon Indigo League: Season 1 is both somehow better and worse than viewers who saw it as children may remember. There is no denying that the show works with the original material to really look at how a place with Pokémon would operate. It isn’t afraid to show how dangerous that world can be either. Its flaws come from the fact that even at this early stage the anime was developing something of a rut that later seasons of the show would become trapped in. This collection is worth getting for old fans or newer viewers who wanted to see the anime’s early years.
POKÉMON INDIGO LEAGUE: SEASON 1 / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: MASAMITSU HIDAKA / WRITERS: VARIOUS / STARRING: VERONICA TAYLOR, RACHAEL LILLIS, ERIC STUART, IKUE OTANI, MADDIE BLAUSTEIN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW