Obligatory Pokemon Go, Post

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two days, I’m certain you’re aware that Pokemon launched a new free app, designed to give us the closest thing yet to being Pokemon trainers here in the real world. However, they haven’t given a lot on in game tutorial information. There’s a quick start guide, but it’s iffy. Fortunately, people like me are here to share my experiences, and what I’ve been able to gather from friends so far. Let the geeks begin! 


First order of business. Right now it can be a pain in the ass to try and get signed in, let alone be able to play. It can be frustrating, but when you think about the fact that everyone has been waiting to be a trainer for 20 years, it makes sense. Granted, the designers should’ve known and anticipated the size of their audience, but I’m not bitching. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not unheard of for gamers to invest hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into a handheld installment. Add that up over 20 years, and you have a lifetime of bliss. Don’t let the muggles tell you otherwise. They have no joy in their lives, and their inner children are pouting in a corner. 


Once you’re able to actually get signed in, you’ll get to create your avatar. There’s a variety of choices, though it’s not as vast as it could be, again, not complaining. So far, I’ve not found a way to change your look after you set it, so be 100% sure before you save it. You may not be able to go get the purple hair you originally wanted. You’ll also have to pick your name. Sounds easy, but this is an online game, names are snatched quickly. Don’t be surprised if you have to be pkmstr848277. Only slight exaggeration. After your avi is created, you’ll encounter one of the Kanto starters. I found a Bulbasaur hanging out in the street. I’ve seen people with Squirtle, but no Charmander so far. 


 
I’m getting a head of myself though. The game needs your GPS active, as it goes off of your real world position. It will give you a street view of your area, not in Google level detail, but the main routes and roads are all there. 


Once you encounter a Pokemon, you’ll face off with it. There’s no battle involved, think of it more like the Safari Zone. All you have to do is toss your Pokeball. There are two views while trying to capture a Pokemon, and I’ve gotta say, have the AR view can make things hilarious. I had a mouse appear in front of my cat, and thank the powers that be, you’re allowed to take pics and screencaps. 


After you throw your ball, and deal with the real feeling of anticipation that it causes, as it decides if you caught it or not, the Pokemon is registered in the Pokedex. You can name them, so it retains the personal touch of the handhelds. You also get stardust, which is like currency, as well as candy for that Pokemon. For example, you can’t give Pikachu candy to a Charmander. The candy is used to evolve them. As you can see, it will tell you how many candies you need for it to evolve. There are no evolution stones, so once you have 50 Pika treats, you’ll get Raichu. From what I’ve seen so far, most two-stage evolutions need 50 in order to evolve to that final form. Three-stage need in the 20’s for first form, and higher from there. Those that don’t evolve, like Tauros, for example, can still use their candy. It allows them to power up and raise their CP, which is how hard they’ll hit in a gym battle. 


From your overhead view of your avi, there’s a list of three Pokemon in the lower corner. If they’re in shadow, you haven’t caught them yet. I thought that was just a visual of what three were nearby. However, if you tap it, you’ll actually get a view of 9 nearby Pokemon, which could be some of the same kind or all different. There are footprints under them to indicate how close they are to you. You can tap on one while in that nine view, and it will change the three on the map to that specific one, so you can see how much closer you may be. I saw a Charmander shadow, but never found anything that brought me closer to him. Oh well. 


You can carry up to 250 Pokemon, and since this is currently Kanto only, we’re limited to the original 150. That being said, don’t discount catching 10 Pidgey. Not only do you get candy and experience for each catch, you might find a stronger one than you currently have. They may also have different battle moves. Another reason to catch a lot is that you can trade them in to the professor for more candy, which then helps you have what you need to help them evolve. The amount of candy you have is listed under the individual Pokemon. Don’t worry, the candy type doesn’t change when they evolve. Oddish candy will still be Oddish candy, even after you have Gloom. Said Gloom will still use Oddish candy to become Vileplume. You can filter your Pokemon by number, recents, and CP. Number is easiest if you’re wanting to transfer in your 20 Paras for candy. 


Finally, I’ll comment on items, but I’ve not had much experience yet, so I’ll probably be back here to update later. Potions are used when you take damage at a gym, but aren’t knocked out. Revive will take care of that. You can acquire incense that will draw more Pokemon to you, but I didn’t notice a difference when I used it. Gyms are all over, and I don’t quite know how they work. Once you challenge a gym at level 5, it’ll have you pick a team, which corresponds to the legendary bird trio. As you probably saw from my pic above, I went with Zapdos. Those teams help determine what kind of gym challenge you’ll have. I know that much. Also, I’ve heard as you level up, you’ll be able to encounter stronger and different Pokemon. Dunno if that’s for set levels. I’ll give more detail when I come across it, but I hope this helps you get started and not feel like you’re thrown in the deep end. Until next time, stay geeky, and catch ’em all. 

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Character Crush – Vegeta

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! My housing drama is nearly over, and I’ll be able to devote the time and energy to my posts that you deserve. As previously stated, I’ve acquired lots of new media/games that I’ll be posting on. Some of which I’ve never seen/played before, but are cultural icons. It’s going to he fun. Until then, I know that Ani-May was severely short changed for you, and I apologize. I’ll pepper in some anime during the rest of the year to make up for it. I owe you that much. Until then, I’m going to at least give you another anime related Character Crush, this time on the prince of all Saiyans, Vegeta. Let the geeks begin!

I got involved in Dragonball Z when the Cell Saga was airing on Cartoon Network back in the early 2000’s. As such, I missed Vegeta’s initial arc and storyline during the Freiza Saga. I think that’s why, at least for me, I find Vegeta to be his best from Cell forward. Don’t get me wrong, the earlier stuff is great, but I prefer him as an anti-hero to full villain. Plus, by the Buu Saga they’d really found their comedy not just in visual gags, but in the various one-liners the characters got off. Vegeta had some of my favorites. Like saying he wanted to wish for new boots, while in the middle of a fight to save Earth. Classic.

  

To give an accurate history on our Saiyan prince, we have to look at the Z/GT series, as well as the movies. I haven’t seen Resurrection F yet, but it’s part of my newly acquired media. Anyhow, Vegeta’s father of the same name, who ruled the planet of the same name, yes, I’m serious, had his people working for Freiza. Saiyans were sent all over the universe to exterminate the inhabitants of the planets he wanted to conquer. Vegeta was one of a few Saiyans who happened to be away on a mission when Freiza destroyed his entire race. Despite his father’s death, and technical ascension to King, Vegeta still considers himself the Saiyan prince, out of respect. 

He came to Earth after Raditz had lost to Goku, to finish the job. It was during this initial appearance that we got our first real look at his personality. Vegeta is arrogant and believes himself to be an elite with no equal. He destroys Nappa, one of the last of his kind, just to prove a point. Sadly, he’s defeated, and sent packing with his tail between his legs. Oh wait, it was cutoff. My bad. He returns to Freiza and gets healed while plotting his next move. 

  

During his exploits on Namek, Vegeta gets his ass handed to him, but we learn when a Saiyan gets beaten, it just makes them that much stronger when they heal. Personally, I think he and Goku should have beat each other half to death, taken a senzu bean, and done it again and again. That’s just me though. Freiza manages to kill Vegeta, who tells Goku to avenge their people. I’ll spare you Goku’s story, but he wins, and Vegeta eventually gets wished back to life, and settles on Earth. He hooks up with Bulma, and they have a son, Trunks. As price of a warrior race, Vegeta doesn’t relax during times of peace, and is always training. When the androids appear, he’s able to go Super Saiyan himself, since he refuses to be second to Goku. 

The other defining characteristic of Vegeta is the thrill of battle, and wanting to be the best. When Imperfect Cell states that he’s able to become stronger, Vegeta wants to see his power, so that he can test himself against it. He doesn’t care if it puts Earth in danger, he wants what he wants, and everyone else can suck it. Which I would. Just Saiyan. Yes, I went there. I’m not sorry. Moving on. When Cell “kills” Future Trunks, Vegeta goes mad with rage and attacks Cell to avenge his fallen son. He loses, but he at least began to realize that he had priorities other than training and fighting.

  

The Buu Saga brought my favorite incarnation of Vegeta, the smartass. When Kid Trunks goes Super Saiyan, and mentions Goten can too, Vegeta makes a crack about it being a Super Saiyan bargain sale. He then asks Trunks to try and hit him, stating that if he does, he’ll take him to the park for an hour. Trunks manages to graze him, and Vegeta backhands him good. Trunks says that Vegeta didn’t say he’d hit back. Vegeta says he didn’t say he wouldn’t, either. He then tells Trunks to dry his eyes cause they’re going to the park right now. Such a good dad. 

The battle with Buu also brings us another great version of Vegeta; Majin Vegeta. Tired of Gohan not finishing a fight quickly, he says he could do better. Babidi calls him a beautiful, arrogant, selfish piece of work. He boosts Vegeta’s power, and turns him back to the dark side. Vegeta, still retaining his pride, refuses to follow orders, and instead wants to use this new power to finally beat Goku. To accomplish this, he murders hundreds of stadium people, prompting Goku to agree to a fight. For a while, Vegeta has the upper hand, but they are still evenly matched. Only by distracting Goku and knocking him out does he technically win. Vegeta then goes to take on Buu, and in the end, realizes that he’s been a bad father to Trunks. He hugs him, then knocks him out. In an act of heroism, Vegeta sacrifices himself to try and stop Buu. 

Ultimately, Vegeta acts in the Earth’s best interest, and tries to rally people to helping Goku win the battle. He becomes a loving husband, father, and friend, while maintaining his hard edge. I adore Vegeta, and always root for him, cause that’s what you do. You’ve gotta respect royalty. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

  

Character Crush – James 

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! I know that new posts have been slim as of late, but I’m in the process of moving, and a great deal of my media is packed away. That won’t stop me from still making contributions and keeping you entertained. Besides, I’ve still been acquiring new retro toons to post on once life settles back to normal. Until then, I thought I’d feature another character crush that’s been on my mind. Prepare for trouble! Er, let the geeks begin! 

As you’ve figured out, this particular crush is on one half, or one third depending on who you ask, of Team Rocket. James has been around since the second episode of the anime, where we were initially led to believe that he and Jessie were competent, and dangerous villains, instead of the comic relief they’ve turned into in subsequent years. He starts off as kind of a smooth talker, but after a few too many thunder shocks from Pikachu, he’s since become easily overwhelmed and expressive about it. 

James may not be the most powerful trainer in the world. He’s certainly not going to be winning gym badges any time soon. He doesn’t have to be a strong trainer; he’s got a strong heart. Aside from his Koffing at the beginning of the series, and any obtained off screen, James generally befriends his Pokemon, and asks them to come with him. He feeds, helps, or takes care of them, and they love him for it. Heck, Mime Jr pretty much forces his way onto the team, all the while being treated like gold. That’s the kind of guy you bring home to mom. 
  

When he’s not hatching evil schemes, James has a rich, geeky, personal life. He collects bottle caps. He’s a great Poke Ringer. His best skill lies in his cosplay. He’s been Professor Oak, Juan, Jessie, and many others. He’s got the outfits, as well as the nuance of the person he’s portraying. Something always manages to go wrong and reveal the truth, but until then, people think he’s the genuine article. 

Since it’s a kids show, the topic of his sexuality doesn’t really come up, but there’s evidence that James is a little light in the loafers. He’s got a fiancé that his parents arranged, but he has no interest in. Or any woman really. Yes, there’s a not so dark corner of the internet full of Jessie and James couple pictures, but there’s nothing to back up they’re anything more than good friends. James is sensitive, caring, compassionate, and good with animals. Everything you’d want in an animated boyfriend. Or a real one. Hey! I could get a real one. If I ever left the house. Like you’re so great. Love ya! 
Until next time, stay geeky and keep gabbing! 
  

Character Crush – Light Yagami

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! Welcome to the first entry in this year’s Ani-May event. This crush is from a show that I’ve loved for years. I’ve read all the manga, watched all the anime episodes, and even the live action Japanese with English voiceover movies. That’s right, I’m talking the cultural event known as Death Note. Yes, it had it’s own controversy, but we’re not gonna focus on that. Instead we’re gonna look at the dreamy Light Yagami, voiced by the equally dreamy Brad Swaile. Don’t believe me, see for yourselves. 

   

I honestly think a huge part of the crush factor on Light is because of Brad’s delivery. But enough about Brad, we’re here to focus on Light. The series starts with Light as a typical Japanese student. He’s smart and at the top of his class. One day, he discovers the death note that was dropped in our world, and his life changes. After reading the instructions, Light tests the book’s power. Unlike some who might have used it to off a pesky person in their lives, Light’s tests involve a criminal, and an attempted rapist. Light sees that the world is rotting, and needs to be improved. Using the power of the notebook, he begins passing judgment on criminals, and cleaning things up. Sounds like a standup guy, right? 

The fun thing about Death Note is that Light is killing people. They’re dying because of his actions. Yet, through the series, I’m still rooting for him. He’s doing wrong things, but for the right reasons. Granted, he begins taking out good people simply because they’re trying to stop him. One of the people in his path is L. No, that’s not a typo, his name is L. L is the other side of Light’s coin, in that he also sees himself as an agent of justice, but tries to avoid murder as the means to an end. Through the course of the series, the dance between these two characters is filled with homoerotic subtext. Not only are they handcuffed to one another, but there’s a scene where L offers Light a foot rub. It gives things an interesting perspective, as both are pursuing each other without knowing it. 

  

Light’s original mission is one I can understand. Given the ability, I’d want to make the world a better place, but I couldn’t bring myself to kill people to get there. Even with the separation of only having to write a name in a book, I just couldn’t do it. Light has no such problem. He’s focused on his end game, and having a world he can rule. I don’t know what it is about me that I like bad boys, especially as they aren’t who I date, but there’s just something about them. I won’t spoil the series in case anyone hadn’t seen it, but Light has me on his side, almost all the way to the end. Watch it for yourselves, and see what I’m talking about. 

This crush is short, but sweet. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

  

X-Men the Animated Series (Anime) – The Return

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! I’m here to bring you the fourth of my X-Men posts. This one isn’t nearly as old or nostalgic as the others, but the genre and style this one takes is worthy of recognition. As long time fans of the gab will know, I like anime. It deals with darker and more mature subject matter, and the art style allows for more detail than most modern cartoons allow. Let the geeks begin!

  

Once again I’ll start with the credits, so as to not detract from the story. Giant metal girder X, with several X-Men around it, as the wind blows them dramatically. We begin the Mouseketeer role call with Cyclops, Beast, Storm, Wolverine, and. Professor X. We also get Armor, Emma Frost, and Jean Grey/Phoenix. I say Phoenix cause she’s in her green Phoenix outfit. For scorecard purposes, we’ll say she finally has a code name in this version. Throughout we also get a shot of the U-Men, and their leader, but that’s not the point of this episode, the point of this episode is…

Phoenix, more specifically, Dark Phoenix. Yes, you read that right, the opening scene of this series is the motherfucking Dark Phoenix. Since anime is more adult, my language may be as well. I’m allowed, dammit. Anyhow, a city is being destroyed as Dark Phoenix tells the X-Men she’s no longer the woman they knew. She’s in her red outfit, and her hair is literal flowing red flames. Diva is looking fierce! Scott tells her to fight it, and gets a giant hunk of building thrown at him for his trouble. He uses an optic blast to clear it. Meanwhile Storm is using lighting to break the chunks thrown at her. Beast is just dodging cause his powers aren’t offensive. Wolverine uses his claws to tear through it, and gets a girder to the face. Geez, why does he have a crush on her? Beast uses his communicator to tell Xavier that Jean is no longer in control. The professor tells him that she isn’t responding telepathically. It must be the Inner Circle, they’re doing something to her. Logan says Jean is an omega level mutant, and if she goes supernova, they’re all dead. Scott charges at her, and she blasts most of his shirt off. Good, Jean. Now the pants. The pants! We see the Inner Circle nearby. Scott keeps saying please, and we hear Jean telepathically call his name, as the jewel on her necklace glows. In her mind, she tells Scott that it has to be done. She’s hanging by a thread. Part of her even likes it. Now just shove a finger in there and finish her off already. Ew. I grossed myself out a little there. Moving on. Jean cries onto her necklace, as Scott sees a vision of Emma behind her. Snow/frost blows at him, and he shouts to Jean that he loves her. Back in the real world, Dark Phoenix starts to power up. We see the real Jean say she loves Scott and always will. Scott tells her to fight it. The Phoenix fire blazes with intensity, and then blinks into nothing. Cut to Scott and the others in the ruins of the city as it’s raining. He clutches Jean’s necklace, and screams, while the Inner Circle smiles. Now that’s how you start an X-Men series. Not with angsty Jubilee, not with a football game, not even with a friendly training game in the Danger Room with my man Nightcrawler. Dark. Fucking. Phoenix. *mic drop 

  

Voiceover from Xavier, talking about creating the institute. How he had hoped that it would give his students a safe place to learn about their powers, and be themselves. The X-Men were his faculty, and believed in his dream with all their hearts. He goes on to say that it’s been nearly a year since the Inner Circle tried to destroy them. Why is takes a year to get over the loss of Jean, I’ll never know. Xavier says they still haven’t recovered, as he sits at her gravestone, which reads SHE WILL RISE AGAIN. Spoilers? Wishful thinking? Clever Phoenix metaphor? You be the judge. In his mind, we see the return of the hover chair, as the professor goes to console some crying students. He tells them that he will keep them safe. He tries to read the mind of a different student, but can’t. As he chases him, and reaches out, he wakes up still next to the gravestone. A dream. The same dream as before, again and again. 

  

In a snow covered Japan, a young girl is running. Two creepy, robotic looking men track her down. One shoots her with a shot of some kind, and it triggers her armor to rise up around her. The robotic guy’s leader watches as the contents of the shot take effect, and she passes out. I’m gonna ho out on a limb here and say that’s Armor, and some U-Men. I’m actually guessing, cause this is the one X-Series I haven’t seen all the way through. Plus there’s a girl with armor in the opening credits, not to mention Frost. Kinda spoiler-y, if you ask me, but cutting new credits probably costs money. Besides, they aren’t worried about people like me picking their work apart. More people should. I’ma come to your room at night and cut up your wigs. Anyhow, back at the institute, Xavier is one the phone. He asks when it happened. Then says he’s been looking for a reason to reassemble the team. As soon as he does, they’ll be in touch. He heads down to cerebra, and put out an emergency “urgent summons” message in his fancy touch screen. Time to assemble the team. 

  

Cruise ship near sunset. A smaller ship is alongside it, with several semi-automatic guns being fired into the air. Pirates! Someone shouts. Um, pirates should be a little concerned about wasting ammo on clouds, rather than say, I dunno, hostages and getting what they want. Whatever. Clearly they have no brains, or they wouldn’t need to rip people off and could make an honest living. At ant rate, Storm says she’s got this. Her eyes glow with lightning, and she summons freezing winds and snow to blow on the ship. They’re encased in ice, and Bobby Drake is somewhere wondering what good he is to anyone. Storm says you don’t get between a girl and her cruise. Someone asks her if she’s one of those X-Men. Guess they aren’t hidden in this series. The urgent summons goes off, and she says it’s about time. 

In the ruins of the city Dark Phoenix took out, the summons goes off on Scott’s bike, but he’s too busy staring at the necklace on the cross where Jean died to pay any attention. Angsty little ball of self-absorbed angst. 

In a lecture hall, Beast is addressing some students, about how they can raise the intelligence of a cephalopod to that of a human or higher. The students laugh. Beast puts a mic in the tank, saying that the squid will talk to them. The summons goes off, and beast leaves the class in the hands of Mr. Cephalopod. They all start laughing, until the squid starts talking, then they’re gobsmacked. You would be too. Side note, how cool is it that in this universe, Beast is welcomed as a teacher, and no one seems to care he’s a mutant? I’m liking this world so far. 

  

At the airport, a flight to Madripoor is boarding at gate X-23, which is a really fun reference considering which member of the team we’re up to. Don’t know what I mean? Educate yourself. I can’t do it all for you. Trust me, it’s worth looking into. A metal detector goes off, and we hear Wolverine bitching, as he’s asked to empty his pockets. A shirtless Logan tells them they won’t find anything. She says to empty the pockets or she will. Any excuse to reach into those pants, you know, for national security. Yeah, that’s it. National security. Logan says the problem isn’t in his pants. Hallelu! Though I’m sure he’s healing factor would cure any impotence he may encounter. Side note, Logan is voiced by the same actor that played him in Wolverine and the X-Men. Anyhow, Logan bares his, claws, and asks if now that she’s seen it if they’re good. I would be. Show me what you want to. The summons goes off, and he tells her she’s in luck, he doesn’t need the flight; he’s going to New York. 

At the mansion, Storm touches down first. Logan arrives on his bike, telling Charles that some of them had things to do. Then he comments on him still being bald. Beast arrives next, commenting on staff meetings and cafeteria food. No Scott though, he’s too busy brooding into his coffee. 

  

We see a picture of Armor holding a cat. Xavier tells the team about her disappearance, and that her parents contacted him. Storm deduces that this girl must be a mutant. Xavier confirms it, and says she exhibited her powers once when she was young. Hank says that’s unusual. Xavier says the X gene runs in her family, and though her parents don’t have it, they know that she does. Logan asks why the police can’t handle it. Xavier says every detective assigned to the case has been killed. Beast says someone clearly doesn’t want this girl found. Gee, thanks, professor. Xavier says even cerebro can’t detect any mutant activity in the area. Logan says his gizmo probably has a worn-out doohickey, and Charlie ain’t getting any younger either. Storm takes offense, and Logan tells her to keep her wig on, he’s just pulling Xavier’s chain. Beast asks if they need to go to Japan. Storm asks about Scott. They aren’t the X-Men without Scott. Um, there’s 4 of you, that’s hardly an X-Team as it is. 

  

Cut to ruined city of Dark Phoenix delight. Damn, that would be a great name for a dessert. Logan asks Scott if he’s been out here all this time. Then asks where he takes a dump. You guys don’t need toilet humor, you’re good as is. 

At the mansion, Beast says there’s nothing wrong with cerebro, so something must be cloaking that part of Japan. Xavier says they’ll find out when they get there. Beast asks if it was wise to send Logan to get Scott, given their history. Xavier replies that if he noticed, Storm went with him. 

Back at Jean’s last stand. Scott says he can’t fight any more. He needs a reason, and he’s lost his. Storm says they aren’t fighting, they’re trying to find a missing girl. Logan says if emo Scott wants to cry about something that happened a year ago, let him. He’d be useless anyways. Scott acts like he owned her, and Jean meant nothing to the rest of them. Logan says Jeannie would die all over again if she saw how he’s been living. Scott blasts Logan right in the face. Is that hair gel? Sorry. Logan asks if he struck a nerve, and says that would’ve been bad without his healing factor. Scott says if he wants to feel real pain to say her name again. “Jean”. Damn I love Wolverine. Claws come out, and Storm steps in between them. She asks Logan why he has to be such a guy and pretend he doesn’t care. Storm tells Scott that if they don’t find the girl, no one else will. It’s what Jean would have wanted. There are still people who need him. 

  

Fade to sunset. Scott remembers watching the stars with Jean, and her commenting on how every moment is precious, since they’re given so few of them. They hug under the starlit sky. Back at the ruins, it’s morning. Scott clutches the necklace in his hand, as the music of dramatic determination fills him. 

At the mansion, in the hangar, the team is getting ready to board the blackbird. Logan stops and sniffs the air. He’d know that scent anywhere. Well well, if it isn’t the guy who put shoulder pads and tights back in fashion. Scott says he couldn’t miss another minute of the witty repartee. Xavier says the X-Men received a call for help, and they answer every call, from human or mutant. This sounds very A-Team to me. People just ask the mutants for help around here? It’s like the ’66 Gotham police. What good are they? Anyhow, Xavier welcomes Scott back to the X-Men, and they take off. End credits.

  

Alright, time to tally up the score cards. Xavier, Scott, Storm, Logan, and Jean? Check. No Magneto or Danger Room though. No clean sweep there. All in all, each series has it’s high and low points, but those 5 seems to be the current staple for any animated version of the team. Well, there’s one exception, but that’s a post for another time. Until then, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

  

Pokemon – I Choose You!

  
By Joshie Jaxon

You ever have a moment that you can pinpoint almost 20 years later? I can do that with Pokemon. The first time I saw Pokemon, it was an ad for the game, in my Spider-Man comic book. I had the original red/blue, and watched the anime, even though I was in high school. I still play the new games as they come out. I also own nearly all the anime on DVD, except for some of the Johto Journeys that came out during my not living at home, no money phase. Anyhow, I love nearly everything about the franchise. Let’s start the show! 

  

I can still sing the opening theme verbatim despite not watching any of the Indigo League for several years now. It has everything you could want. Mewtwo, Mew, Brock & Misty, Team Rocket, Gary, Professor Oak, Officer Jenny, Nurse Joy, Delia Ketchum, and of course, Ash & Pikachu. Buckle up kids, this isn’t the cutesy version that airs today. This is old school, black and white Gameboy era stuff. Speaking of, we hear the opening game credits, and see Gengar battling Nidorino, just like in the game. Then we pan out and get normal animation. As Gengar puts his opponent to sleep with hypnosis, it is recalled and a new Pokemon is sent out. It’s episode one, so I’ll forgive the fact that Onix emerged from a green pokeball, instead of traditional red. 

  

It turns out that the match is on tv, and Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town is watching. Ash is ten now, and can finally get his Pokemon license. He declares to the Pokemon of the would that he’s going to be a Pokemon master. They never tell us what that means. Will he master all Pokemon everywhere? Is it a job title? Breeder, coordinator, those titles are descriptive and make sense. Pokemon master, not so much. Ash’s mother comes in and tells him to get to bed, but Ash is too excited to sleep. He starts his journey tomorrow. That’s right, ten year old, out in the world, on his own. What could go wrong? Delia tells him to watch something educational, and turns it to Professor Oak talking about the three starters available; Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Ash dreams about what it would be like to have each one. 

  

Ash is so involved in his dream, that he breaks his Voltorb alarm clock. Realizing he overslept, he hauls ass to the Professor’s to make his choice. Upon arrival, we meet Gary, Ash’s rival. He’s arrogant, but doesn’t have any of that Kaiba charm to balance it out. He’s just obnoxious. Poor Ash, just starting out and he’s already behind. Professor Oak appears, telling Ash he looks ready for bed, not his journey. Ash doesn’t care, he just wants a Pokemon. 

  

In the lab, Ash chooses Squirtle, but it’s already taken by someone who was on time. Alright, Bulbasaur then. Nope, also given to a punctual kid. Well, he wanted Charmander anyways. Too bad it’s gone too. Isn’t there anything left? Cue the fourth pokeball. The professor tells him there’s something wrong with this last one. Ash doesn’t care, releases it from the ball, and Pikachu is revealed. The professor says they can be shy, or have an electric personality. Yay, poke-puns! Pikachu shocks the hell out of Ash. This is gonna be fun. 

  

After getting his Pokedex and pokeballs, Ash heads outside. His mom and a small group are waiting, and cheer for him. She’s just so proud. He’s old enough to take care of himself now. Still ten, by the way. Delia gives him his clothes, shoes, backpack, gloves, and undies. Darn moms. She sees Pikachu out of his ball, and finds it odd. Ash tosses the ball at him, and it gets knocked right back. Several attempts later, it’s still not happening. Episode one, so I’ll overlook the lack of red return beam that was used in the battle on tv. Delia says it’s odd that Pikachu isn’t in his ball, and that rubs him the wrong way. He shocks the entire crowd, and the professor tells us Ash’s gloves will be useful since they won’t conduct electricity. 

  

Cut to Ash wearing the gloves, and pulling Pikachu down the road. Great animal care, Ash. He stops, and asks if Pikachu is gonna be like this the whole time. Is it because you don’t like me? Pikachu nods. Ash tells him to open his mouth and say what’s wrong. Pikachu complies, but it doesn’t help. He can only say his name. Kinda like when I greet my cats, they only meow a hello back. Animals don’t talk, dumb ass. Since Pikachu is just like any Pokemon, he should act like one. The Pokedex says he should be in his ball. Pikachu pushes a button and it goes on to say that some Pokemon hate to be confined. Ash undoes the line he was pulling him with, and removes the gloves. Maybe that will help. Pikachu prefers to be free, with no rubbers, it just feels better. Sorry, that one was too good to pass up. 

  

Ash sees a Pidgey, and tells Pikachu to go get it. Pikachu responds by climbing a tree to rest. Ash doesn’t need him. He vowed to get every Pokemon in the world. He throws the ball, and for a moment we think it works, until the bird escapes. Pikachu just laughs at Ash’s failed attempt. Not one to give up easily, Ash tries to use his pajama top to catch Pidgey. After being hit with a gust and a sand attack, Ash watches as it flies off. Pikachu continues to snicker. A Rattata gets into Ash’s bag, and the Pokedex says they steal from stupid travelers. Pikachu is gonna wet himself he’s laughing so hard. 

  

Three more Pidgey pop up, and Ash decides to try throwing a rock. Not only is it a bad idea in general, you don’t throw rocks at wild animals. He misses the trio, but sees a lone one. Going back to his rock idea, he connects this time, right on the head of a Spearow. It looks pissed, and rightfully so. It goes after Ash, who manages to dodge. Then Spearow sees Pikachu, and attacks him too. Ash tries to say he threw the rock, but birdy don’t care. It circles and circles trying to knock Pikachu out of the tree. Pikachu unleashes a lightning attack, and zaps the bad bird. Too stupid to try and catch it, Ash just watches as Spearow calls it’s friends from a nearby tree. Ash asks Pikachu if they should run. Pikachu nods. 

  

Ash says no matter what, he’ll protect Pikachu. Pikachu runs ahead of him. You don’t have to be faster than the Spearow, you just have to be faster than your trainer. That is, until they outnumber you, and start attacking you. Kids, the lesson here is to be kind and respectful to all animals. Ash learned the hard way, so you wouldn’t have to. He gets Pikachu away from them, and even jumps into a river to escape. We see a girl fishing, and she manages to catch Ash. She sees Pikachu, and starts yelling at Ash to get it to a doctor right away. I love Misty. The Spearow flock catches up to him, and Ash puts Pikachu in the basket of Misty’s bike and takes off. Thief! 

  

As he rides, dark clouds fill the sky, and rain starts to fall. This isn’t good. The Spearow catch up, and Ash crashes. He crawls his way over to Pikachu, and asks him to get in his pokeball. Ash knows he doesn’t like it, but if he trusts him, he may just be able to save him. Ash sets the ball down, and stands between the Spearow and Pikachu. He’s Ash from Pallet Town, he’ll be the world’s greatest Pokemon master, and can’t be beaten by the likes of them. The birds don’t care, cause they don’t know what a Pokemon master is. Join the club.

  

Pikachu does, and is so moved, he climbs up Ash to take on the flock. Now, I don’t know if a bolt of lightning happened to strike him and power him up, or if Pikachu summoned it, either way, a massive electric column takes out the Spearow, and Misty’s bike. The clouds clear, and we see a golden Pokemon fly near the rainbow. We now know it was a Ho-Oh, but at the time, the Pokedex had no clue. The voiceover tells us Ash and Pikachu’s adventures are just beginning, and will be filled with laughs. We see Pikachu lick Ash. They’ve bonded, and are now lifelong friends. Now that’s the way you finish a series premier.