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Pokémon Volume 1: I Choose You Pikachu!

review by Zach B.


Not Rated

Studio: Pioneer

Running Time: 75 Minutes


Retail Price: $24.99

Features: Full-length Pokérap, Episodes: Pokémon: I Choose You!, Pokémon Emergency and Ash Catches A Pokémon

Specs: 1.33:1 Standard, 2.0 English Stereo

Pokémon, the popular video game series, loads of merchadise and new kiddie fad, is of course also a popular animated Japanese Animated TV show (which you may recall gave kids seizures in Japan and beat out NBC's "The Today Show" in many syndicated markets).

For people who know nothing about the craze, the TV show follows a Pokémon trainer named Ash Ketchum, a ten year old boy who's main dream is to be the ultimate Pokémon master. Along the way, he has many, many adventures while meeting new friends as well as new Pokémon. Pokémon, of course, stands for Pocket Monsters, and Pokémon battle each other and are trained by their masters to win the battles, and so the trainers can get badges for their victories and battle expierence for their creatures.

"Pokémon: I Choose You Pikachu!" is the first volume of the ongoing Pioneer releases, which features a few episodes per disc. Two or three discs with episodes are released about every two months, having the series in chronological order.

Anyhow, this first volume is sure to please fans of the TV show, and a good introduction to the craze and show itself. In the first episode, "Pokémon: I Choose You!", we meet Ash Ketchum and his dream to become a Pokémon master. Too bad for Ash, the day he can get his Pokémon license and his first Pokémon, he is stuck with a stubborn Pikachu, who's pretty much gone on to symbolize the whole Pokémon craze. Ash realizes this Pikachu is a really special Pokémon, and must help rescue him from an attack from wild Pokémon. He also steals a girl's bike, and the girl is Misty, who would be joining Ash on his journeys.

"Pokémon Emergency" takes place right where the first episode ended. Ash is struggling to rescue his Pikachu and get him to the nearest Pokémon Center for healing. We also meet the show's main villains, the evil and crazy Team Rocket.

Finally, "Ash Catches A Pokémon" deals with Ash catching a Caterpie, which is this bug/catapiller like Pokémon. Man, after saying Pokémon so many times I think it's lost all meaning. Pokémon Pokémon Pokémon Pokémon! There, that should get it all out of my system.

Anyhow, like all the episodes, it is pure standard kiddie fare. If you're an older fan or have children who like the show, then this DVD is for them. This edition should appeal to most of the fans, since it does establish the series and introduces us to the whole world of Pokémon. Too be honest though, I thought the first episode was decent, nothing spectacular, but the other two were pretty boring. They're just average and to please the audience...

All three Pokémon episodes are presented in their original TV aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The transfers of the episodes are pretty crisp. There is some slight artifacting and shimmer, but other than that, the crappy animation looks pretty good with solid colors and a pretty naturual, digital feel.

I guess this is for mainstream only. Pioneer, for all editions, has not bothered to include the original Japanese or English subtitles. They're just the dubs, just on American TV. Anyhow, it's stereo, and sounds decent. Everything can be heard, dialogue and sounds are easy to understand, it's fine and no one should have a problem.

Included on this disc (and most of the volumes) is the Full Length Pokérap. It's just a song where they have every single Pokémon in it for about a second. If you're a diehard fan or new to it all, you better start memorizing.

It depends on how you like the episodes. These are dubs only, but as I said, these should have a value to the fans because they are the first three episodes. The sound and video are good, but the extras are really subpar. Fans of the show, it's all here for you.

(3/5 (all three episodes), NOT included in final score)




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