Anime Spotlight #22

So…here’s the first Anime series I ever watched:

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Yep!  Pokemon.

I remember it being massively popular when it came out in America in ’98/99; I was in grade-school at the time.  Nearly every kid and their dog was watching it to some degree, and collecting the cards (I managed to collect over 100 in all, but I also remember seeing some who successfully obtained hundreds more).

Originally, it was just Ash (with his trusty Pikachu), Misty, and Brock, with their team of Pokemon wandering about the land leveling up and honing their skills — sometimes learning valuable lessons along the way.  Their adversary was usually Team Rocket:  Jessie, James, and the only talking, bipedal Meowth in existence (aside:  who ever noticed that Jessie and James look to be taken from the outlaw Jesse James?).  The initial roster of Pokemon numbered only 150 + Mewtwo.

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Those of us old enough to have been around when the first few seasons came out likely remember how Pokemon card trading often reached a point where schools had to ban it altogether in the hopes of mitigating some of the consequences that had come from it; personally, I watched the first two-to-three seasons until more Pokemon were added to the roster as well as new lands and new characters and new aspects to the old collecting and training that kids were used to up until that point.  As great as Pokemon was, it did end up giving way to other shows coming out that the time like Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh!

And koodos to Pokemon Go! for showing those like myself that Pokemon is still going on strong today!  Who knew?!