All these game adaptations could learn something from the Pokémon anime

Looking back on one of the best game adaptations of all time

I vaguely remember watching Pokémon anime when I was little, albeit short. I think my brother may have cried when he watched one of the movies in the theater, but since we had not played any of the games at all when the franchise was at its peak in the mid-2000s, we somehow went around the whole ordeal.

After deciding to try the games as an adult, I finally understand the hype, especially when it comes to the previous contributions in the series. I constantly imagine playing it on my Game Boy as a nine-year-old, and not to sound dramatic, but I can actually feel it heal my inner child in real time. The games deliver the typical adventure experience in game form – you feel really attached to all your Pokémon, and going through the game feels just like the fantastic journey it promises you. I will write more about my experiences of playing Pokémon for the first time as an adult, but for now I have to talk about how good the anime is.

The battle for game adaptations

As I’m sure most of us have noticed by now, there are many, and I mean a lot, of video games that are currently being adapted for film and TV. My theory is that after the superhero burnout that we all experience, video games will be Hollywood’s latest fix for a while, but I’m deviating. While comic book features have received some really fantastic adaptations over the years that are not only entertaining in themselves, but have also added to the property’s myths in a significant way, video games have not really had the same turn.

Game adaptations are usually doomed from the start to be really, really bad, because there’s just something about throwing games on the screen that filmmakers do not seem to get right on, usually because they do not seem to understand what made games or games good in the first place. hand.

Walk into Pokémon anime. The first episode of the series was released in April 1997, just one year after the first games in the video game series, Pokémon red and greenand Pokémon blue. The show has been going strong since then and ended up at number 45 on Wikipedia list of anime with the most episodes. Releasing the show in time with the games was an ingenious marketing move. The adventures of Ash Ketchum and his friends got stuck in children all over the world, cementing Pokémon as one of the most beloved and nostalgic traits of today.

It’s not that the games were good and the show happened to come out at the same time – no, no, no. The studio behind the show put on everything they wore Pokémon anime, because it’s one of the best kids tv I’ve ever seen. It has a surprisingly large heart (I already cried three episodes in), and the character development is incredibly strong from the beginning. It is good writing, simple and clear. They do not fool anything for children, and with the risk of sounding old at a mature age of twenty-five, they simply do not write children’s media like this anymore.

If it’s not broken, do not fix it

Then we have the adaptation part of it all. After playing Leafy green, I was completely shocked at how closely the program follows the events of the game. Ash travels to the same places in the same order, and all Pokémon and their types correspond exactly to how they are in the game, which seems obvious, but nothing makes you feel cooler than knowing that flying types are good against insect types before Ash does the.

In a world where your knowledge of Pokémon is everything, it’s amazing to be able to bring that knowledge to the show! So much of Ash’s journey is about learning all about the Pokémon he catches, and when we already know that after studying it while playing the games, it really makes you go, “Wow, I am a Pokémon Master! ” As a child, it would have blown my little mind.

I also love how they show us what the world would look like if we actually lived with Pokémon. The battles look exactly as you imagine them, and you see how different parts of the world are built around the use of Pokémon, or in the way they are received. It’s good that they’re not drawn to the aspects of the game that would seem silly in reality.

What is it? Isn’t it logical that Nurse Joy can be in Viridian City and Cerulean City at both Pokémon centers at the same time? Oh no, it’s just her identical twin sister who also happens to be named Joy, ya stupid! They lean into the silliness of it and make it a fun, memorable piece that plays perfectly into the comic tone of the show. Another favorite moment for me is Brock who is sitting in the pitch darkness at the rock gym and apparently just waiting for challengers to come. Incredible.

A musical heritage

I can not talk about Pokémon anime without also mentioning the theme song and Pokéraps. They really said, “we need something that will sound as cool as it can for kids between the ages of 6-13,” and they. Absolutely. Delivered. When have you ever heard Pokémon theme song came again and not heard at least one person sing along in it? That’s right, never. Again, it captures the same adventurous spirit that the whole show goes for, and watching the intro before each episode makes you really elated before the excitement that comes.

I’ve always heard of Pokéraps, but have never really had any idea what they were. I fully understand that now. Another fantastic-sounding musical element to the show that also incorporated the idea of ​​Pokémon master knowledge, and encouraged viewers to come back every day to learn the names of all 150 Pokémon. Another example where I can imagine a nine year old version of me going crazy over it, and that’s how I know it’s amazing.

To capture the essence

What it’s all about for me is that Pokémon games and anime are perfectly suited to the type of experience or imagination they are trying to sell to you. It is an easy yet empowering adventure of friendship and saving the world. It makes you feel smart and capable when you do not feel as often as a child. It leans into its own emotionality and silliness, and does not pull itself together for a serious feeling for just a second. In my eyes, it’s the most perfect game-to-TV adaptation I’ve ever seen.

Of course, this presupposes that you want a one-to-one translation of the game’s content. Take another game adaptation that has done really well: The Witcher. While the show may not capture every single action point and mechanics of the game, it conveys absolutely the same feel as the games. The Witcher also comes from a game franchise that started as an adaptation of a book series anyway, so its strength is to play into the overall myth surrounding the property, rather than making the game live in exactly the same way.

Each video game show or movie will have a slightly different approach to their adaptation style, as they should – because no two games are alike. I’m not saying that every show needs to be like that Pokémon anime, but what those responsible for these adaptations need to do is capture the essence of what makes that game compelling in the first place. If they can do that, then I think they will usher in a new golden age of custom media. Here is hope.

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