Pokemon: Indigo League [rating=5]
Following the worldwide success of ‘Pokémon Go’ (a mobile app that allows you to capture virtual Pokemon using GPS tracking) there was a huge amount of interest in Pokemon again for the first time since the early 00’s. It’s thanks to this resurgence that long time fans of the series are finally being treated to the original Pokemon: Indigo League series on DVD & Blu-Ray. This is the first time any main series Pokémon episodes have been released on DVD or Blu-Ray in the UK in the twenty years since the franchise launched. I’ve always been a huge fan of Pokémon and still to this day play the video games and card games, so when I heard the show was getting the Blu-Ray treatment I was absolutely thrilled. It’s something I’ve been anticipating for a long time and thought I’d never see the day after all this time.
Pokemon Indigo League sees ten-year old Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town set out on his journey to become a Pokemon Master. After setting out late to get his first ever Pokémon from Professor Oak, Ash is left with Pikachu – an electric type Pokémon reluctant to join Ash on his journey. As Ash and Pikachu journey through the Kanto region they meet new friends Brock and Misty; two gym leaders who each want to join Ash on his journey to become a Pokemon Master. With his friends by his side, Ash takes on the Kanto gym leaders in order to gain the badges he needs to face the Pokemon League while also thwarting the notorious Team Rocket’s plans to steal Pokemon along the way.
The series follows Ash and his friends as they travel through the Kanto region to obtain gym badges told through episodic stories. The plot development in the series is seen through Ash catching new species of Pokemon, how he bonds with them and how he earns his gym badges on the journey. I ran through all 52 episodes in quick succession and was pleased to find it every bit as fun to watch as when I was a kid. Hearing all the old voice actors again brought me back to those Saturday morning Sky1 viewings with the amazing Veronica Taylor providing the voice of Ash Ketchum, Rachael Lillis as Misty and Eric Stuart as Brock. The Blu-Ray unfortunately comes only with the 4Kids english-dub of the series, so this release may not be for everyone as I know there are a lot of fans who don’t enjoy the localised dub of the series and prefer to watch the Japanese original.
When I was younger one of the things that drew me to Pokemon was all the vibrant colours in the show whether it was the lush backgrounds or the colourful characters, so for a show that was released 17 years ago I was impressed by how much it’s stood the test of time. Thanks to the Blu-Ray upscale the vibrant colours truly shine through in this release and make it a real treat to view.
Pokemon: Indigo League is a must have for fans of the series, young and old. I believe everyone will find enjoyment in this collection whether they be new to Pokemon or looking for a dose of nostalgia. It’s full of laughs, a great voice cast and the transfer on Blu-Ray is just fantastic. The only real downside for me was the lack of special features as there aren’t any at all in the set but after waiting so long to own this series on Blu-Ray, I’m happy just to have the episodes available. With this new addition the Pokémon franchise continues to thrive, and hopefully we’ll see similar releases of other seasons sooner rather than 17 years later.
You can pick the collection up on either DVD or Blu-Ray from October 30th.
Fantasy, Animation | Japan, 2017 | PG | 30th October 2017 (UK) | Manga UK |