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End of an Era: Share Your Memories

OKAY, I guess I gotta reveal how cringe I was growing up.

So. Uh. Storytime. Pokémon was one of my first anime, and I started watching back during BW. I was not expecting to get so engrossed during the show's airing cycle that I would watch ALMOST EVERY EPISODE OF IT. I'm not even kidding! I think the only episodes I'm missing are the ones that didn't get dubbed and a few odd episodes back during BW; all of the subsequent seasons I watched front to back. I'm a Unova baby...though my first Pokémon game was Platinum. I missed out on the DP airing cycle. Somehow, my little ten-year-old girl brain latched on hard to Ash. In this iteration, no less. But it was what it was. That stupid little twerp was my first anime crush and I've still got a soft spot for him, even now when I'm officially waaay too old for him. I imagine that latching had some sort of effect on my psyche because I'm now actively unlearning how to stop suppressing my emotions. Oops. Also watched...at least two-thirds of Indigo League during this time? And the bulk of Orange Islands. That was kind of it.

I came back later for XY just after a big cross-country move, and quit during the dubbing hiatus between XY and XY&Z because they were taking too long for my middle schooler brain. Honestly glad I skipped out on the remainder of Kalos, but that's for reasons I'm technically required to keep out of this thread. (tldr; I'm a former Amourshipper, and the ship's become something of a sore spot for me now. I have a super vague explanation of sorts tucked away in the shipping threads here.) Ash-Greninja's cool as fuck though, and I'm glad I eventually ended up nabbing one of those poseable figures. Also...less fortunately, this is the era my One Singular Ash Ketchum figure is from. So uh...yeah, now the little guy has baggage by association. Sorry dude. Least you look cool on my shelf with my 30 other Pokémon.

And then Journeys started getting dubbed and I knew I had to watch it after my attempts to pirate the JP iteration of SuMo died where it sat...five minutes into the first episode of the season because the website kept crashing. So I kinda watched SuMo happen from afar (though I was fond of how chunky/stocky they made him after the initial shock with the terrible choice of pose on the reveal poster, it was really cute). Maybe I'll come back later and watch it in full.

Journeys for me, has been peak Pokéani fiction. Ash and Goh have a relationship that's just so strong and really the kind of quality I've been after for years. Even if you don't look at it through the lens of shipping, they cover each others' weaknesses so well, and the stronger emphasis on the two of them rather than a trio or a set of five characters really gave them space to just...breathe, and it felt good to watch. It also got me through a helluva hard time. The show, the pair, everything. It helped in a way I don't even really know how to explain beyond being an anchor. I can barely believe Journeys is already over, let alone the fact that it's time to say goodbye to my very first anime crush and all his growth. I have high hopes for our new protagonists...I just have to hope that if Ash is a parent, the mother goes unconfirmed. If they hardcore canonize Amour I might just have to give up Pokéani altogether.
So you found Amour creepy because you thought Serena was stalking Ash?
Please come back!
Ash and Serena both support each other and the ship isn’t one sided! It’s an amazing and wholesome ship!
 
Being a kid in 2000s/2010s America, I’ve always heard about Pokémon and Pikachu. But up until 2016, I never paid any attention to it. When Pokémon Go came on the scene, it went viral, and I thought that it was stupid (and I still do). Even though I didn’t want to play the mobile game, I knew about the show/anime, so I went to check out Indigo League on Netflix. And I loved it. I grew attached to Ash, Pikachu, Team Rocket, and Swag Squirtle. Ironically, I originally thought Ash and Misty were cute together, though this could have been a case of “the main boy has to be shipped with the main girl” so I technically was a Pokeshipper at one point? I thought that Indigo League was great and funny, and after I finished it, I went to watch the other Pokémon series on Netflix, XY.
And it blew me away.
The art style was beautiful. The story was more mature and the battles were amazing. I thought Ash’s new look looked awesome, I instantly fell in love with Wobbuffet, Clemont and Bonnie. I loved Clemont’s the future is now thanks to science gag! But the character that I was the most attached to was Serena.
The first episodes of XY hook you in. Ash falls off the tower, and at the end of the second episode there’s a massive cliffhanger and bombshell that Serena knew Ash in the past. When I saw the flashback of young Ash, my mind was completely blown. I was hooked.
By the time Serena left home to look for Ash, I was actively rooting for them to reunite. I love Serena, she reminds me so much of myself, not knowing what to do, and she is so sweet and shy, just like me! I was frustrated that it was taking them so long to reunite. And when they finally did, after five episodes, there was a cliffhanger.
And Ash didn’t remember her. Darn.
But Serena acted differently around him. She acted nervous. She was blushing!!!! And my shipper mind started to whirl…
And then the flashback scene happened. Ash helps Serena, telling her to not give up until the very end, and holding her hand back to camp, I was internally squealing while watching that scene.
From then on, I was an Amourshipper. I wanted Serena to be happy because I love her character, so I wanted her and Ash to get together.
My favorite Pokémon on the cast (still is my favorite character ever) was Serena’s Pancham. IT HAS THE FUCKING SWAG SUNGLASSES and it has massive IDGAF energy.
What happened next was a blur. I was almost done with season 18 on Netflix when I was looking up on Bulbapedia about the latest Pokémon episodes when I found out that Serena kissed Ash. Ironically I didn’t like that at first because I thought it was too mature for Pokémon (still a kid) so I hated the franchise for a while… I saw the SM poster and thought Ash looked so ugly… yep ironically I didn’t like the mature side of Pokémon yet I have always hated SM Ash and goofy af Sun and Moon…
So I quit Pokémon for a while. And by a while, I mean 3 years.
I haven’t watched XY (aside from the Ash v Grant gym battle) since, but I’m still incredibly nostalgic for the XY English dub.
Summer of 2019. I decided to listen to the OG Pokémon theme song and I then became warped back into the franchise. I remember learning that Ash won the Alola League on r/Pokemon and at first I was happy (and memeing) it. I also learned about the Kalos League loss and I got mad about that because I hate SM and I thought that Ash Greninja should have won because of the form and it should have beaten Alain’s Charizard at least once. So the fact that SM Ash, my least favorite iteration of the character, won the league, made me really bothered.
Back in 2016, I made a fan made series in my head. I called it: Pokémon Sun and Moon Fanon. The plot was that Ash became a Pokémon Master, married Serena, and had a kid. And there were two other protagonists too. So ever since then I wanted XYZ to be the end of the show and for Ash and Serena to get married and have a kid. So that’s why I happy that Ash is leaving. It’s about time.
Then comes JN. At first I liked Journeys but then I got bothered at Ash’s buttmonkey behavior like it was during SM. I also hated the art style. And then JN ruined Lucario by making it literally steal Ash Greninja’s Bond Phenomenon and the Ash-Greninja form got literally deleted when Ash-Greninja’s story wasn't finished yet. And they only had Serena and Ash reunite for literally 30 fucking seconds with the belief that they are supposed to get more time together and have a closure for Amourshipping.
 


I still remember the first time I ever saw this movie in like 2003-2004-ish. My mom had rented it out of Blockbuster (really showing my age here, huh?) on DVD for me as a surprise. I remember being so excited! Because it was a rental, I couldn't keep it for long, but I later would get it on VHS, and I watched the hell out that tape. Must have seen it a dozen times. I still remember the Pikachu short at the end (beginning?) of the movie, Pikachu's PikaBoo. Must have seen that at least a dozen times too. Anybody else remember the song? Ahh........memories. :giggle:

 


I still remember the first time I ever saw this movie in like 2003-2004-ish. My mom had rented it out of Blockbuster (really showing my age here, huh?) on DVD for me as a surprise. I remember being so excited! Because it was a rental, I couldn't keep it for long, but I later would get it on VHS, and I watched the hell out that tape. Must have seen it a dozen times. I still remember the Pikachu short at the end (beginning?) of the movie, Pikachu's PikaBoo. Must have seen that at least a dozen times too. Anybody else remember the song? Ahh........memories. :giggle:


Born to be a Winner (especially that guitar solo at the end) SLAPS!!!
 
I'm gonna totally show my ass in this thread for how cringey I was as a kid lololol

I was born in September 1996, so it's no surprise that pretty much my whole life I've had some connection to this show! I'm going to try my best to go chronologically here:

1998/1999: I vaguely remember watching a VHS copy of EP001 in the basement of my parents' old townhouse with my sister, and hated all of the "yelling" in it! I clearly remember the scene where Ash is greeted by his mom and all of the rest of Pallet Town outside of Professor Oak's lab.
2001: I had a Pikachu stuffed animal I was obsessed with, and it somehow got lost in the move from our old townhouse to the house my parents still live in to this day! I was devastated, I remember watching an episode of the Kanto saga and crying because I lost my Pikachu.
2002/2003: My family was on vacation at the beach, and I would wake up to episodes of the Orange Islands playing on the TV. I remember catching the very end of an episode followed by Pikachu's Jukebox playing Double Trouble!
2003: I would rush home from playing outside with my friends some nights to catch reruns of Johto Journeys on tv!
2003/2004: I remember renting "Pokemon Channel" as well as a DVD copy of Pokemon 4Ever from the local Blockbuster with some of those sour gummy straws and a soda! I would play the movie with my friends at a sleepover that night. Side note: that Blockbuster building still stands totally empty to this day! You can even see the imprint of where the Blockbuster logo used to be!
2004: I remember coming home from school and watching episodes of Advanced Challenge on the TV in the family room with my sister, followed by episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh. I'd also watch them on the tv in my parents' bedroom occasionally.
2006: I snuck upstairs to get away from a party my parents were having. I went into their bedroom and flipped on the TV, and found they were showing Destiny Deoxys. I ended up watching about 40 minutes of it before someone came looking for me!
2006: My family and I came home from something and I turned on Cartoon Network, and found Pokemon. But the voices all sounded super weird to me, did they change all of them? By this point I was old enough to understand these things happened (I remembered being so angry Totally Spies! changed Alex's and Jerry's voices, still annoyed to this day tbh), but was bummed out because wow did they sound bad!
2007: I watched the 3-part opening to the Diamond&Pearl series on my parents' tv. At this point I was in middle school and starting to fall out of Pokemon, so my memory for a few years of this series is spotty. It didn't help that I found the Diamond and Pearl games to be super lame, and the TPCi dub of the series certainly didn't help keep me engaged. I'd catch a few episodes here or there after school, but I didn't keep up with it much.

2010: I had gotten back into Pokemon this year with the release of HeartGold version, and for Christmas I got the entire DVD boxset of the Indigo League! I remember watching the Christmas episode, revisiting all of the old Pikachu's Jukebox segments (why weren't those all also included as special features so you could pick and choose which ones to watch?) and then finally started back at EP001 and watched through! I grabbed some homemade fudge from the kitchen and went back up to my bedroom to continue my watch-through.
2011: This was when I first started being aware of this show's online fandom as well as the Japanese side of the show. I joined Bulbagarden forums and started finding special previews of the upcoming series based on the Black and White games. I hadn't played them yet, but I was super interested! Brock wasn't going to be there, Team Rocket was serious again, and Ash looked different! Everyone was hyping it up online, so I was really interested. Even though I thought it looked cool, I thought it would be funny to make one of those "Angry German Kid" videos where the kid was a "genwunner" and angry Misty wasn't coming back, etc. I also remember getting up early on Saturday, February 12 to watch BW001 as it aired, and I was shocked that they brought back Who's That Pokemon!! I rushed to this site to find the threads being made about it.
March 2011: Sometime around here I started really keeping up with the Japanese version's release schedule since they were ahead, and I was becoming more active on here. I remember hearing about the horrible earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 on the news. Later, I heard about the Rocket/Plasma 2-parter being skipped and all the drama around that. What stood out to me more though was the Rocket trio returning to their white uniforms and comedic selves, or so we thought.
2012: I was a sophomore in high school and would sit at home on my family desktop and make dumb AMVs of the Pikachu's Jukebox songs and upload them to YouTube. My magnum opus was, of course, Double Trouble. It's still up on YouTube, somehow never flagged as a copyright issue. I won't link it here but it's....pretty easy to find lololol. It actually holds up decently well- and while I'd totally change a few parts of it I'm actually weirdly proud of it?
2012/2013: I was the artsy drama kid in high school (such a stereotype...) and one of the few things I could draw decently well was, shockingly, Team Rocket! I can't count how often I've drawn those characters over the years, but I remember drawing them for my friends all the time in my junior year of high school. My mom found a picture of Jessie I drew once and asked "where's the rest of her shirt???" lmao
October 2013: I, like a lot of people on these forums, was pretty disappointed by the Best Wishes series, especially the later parts of it. So it's no surprised I was pumped for the XY series. The art looked so much nicer, the action looked incredible, and I was excited for a return to the quartet main cast like the Hoenn episodes. I remember watching XY001 and XY002 and loving them- both in English and Japanese! Since the Japanese version kept going and the English dub was only a "special preview", I kept up with the JP version more. I remember re-watching the YouTube rips of XY003 and XY004 quite a few times and really looking forward to what was coming next.
2014: This was, as best as I remember, the year I fully gave up on the English dub. What did it for me was watching the "proper" version of the XY001&2 dubs and seeing how they went back in and added dub music to an already-finished product. That just blew my mind. It didn't help that the English release of M17 was the first in over a decade to have dub music. XY was when I really, truly dropped the dub as a regular viewer, and I've barely watched it since. I don't think I've seen a full dub episode of any subsequent series.
November 2014: This is a silly one...but I remember watching XY051 air and being ecstatic that, not only did the Rockets finally have a new motto animation, but the full version of their XY theme played, something that I don't think has happened since!
2016: I would drive around late at night with my then-best friend with McDonald's talking about all sorts of stuff, it's something that really made us feel like siblings instead of friends. I would usually drive so my music would be playing, and occasionally a JP opening or ending would play. My favorite was DoriDori, which soon became my friend's favorite. I'd also have some English covers of the JP songs as well- my favorite was of Battle Frontier! I also remember driving home after my then-boyfriend broke up with me in a park. I was zooming down the highway after dark listening to the Serena cover of DoriDori playing full blast- it was very cathartic.
2016/2017: I remember all the controversies around the Sun&Moon series art style switching, but I was here for it! I would watch previews of SM003 with the Rocket trio's first appearance (since we didn't really see them animated before that preview) while in a crowded H&M, so I couldn't hear it but I loved how expressive they looked. I also went to a local community college for my first 5 semesters of college before transferring to university, and I remember on my last day of class (a Thursday) on my last semester at community college, I treated myself to Checkers. I sat in the parking lot and ate while watching SM006.
2017: I made a few photo-sets on Tumblr photoshopping digitally-colored screenshots of Musashi to have red hair- and tbh that is the hill I will die on!!!
April 2017: I remember the infamous preview for M20 coming out, the one that revealed that this nostalgia-bait movie would not, in fact, include the nostalgic characters, but instead Satoshi would travel with two random stand-ins. To this day I don't understand that decision at all, especially because those characters have never come back in any of the other AU stories. The discourse that came from this was insane- if you were disappointed at all you were an entitled genwunner who couldn't let go of the past. My views on the movie now are pretty negative, but I feel that if Kasumi and Takeshi had been in it, I still wouldn't have liked it (for reasons I've made clear in other threads). But I also remember replaying that bit of Aim to be a Pokemon Master- 20th Anniversary Ver. dozens of times- it really does slap!
November 2019: We had to rush my dog to the emergency vet on a Sunday morning, and he sadly did not make it. But on the car ride down (when I wasn't sure what was happening or what the outcome would be, I was still very much in denial) I sat in the back seat with him while watching the latest preview for the upcoming Pocket Monsters series.

2022: I recently taught my 2nd grade class about eye safety, and we had a segment about eye strain and not sitting too close to a computer screen in a dimly-lit room. I taught them all about the Cyber Soldier Porygon episode and how a lot of children sitting closely to the screen in dark rooms did not help the situation. I worded it in a more tame way because I have a pretty sensitive group and didn't want to scare anyone!

Wow...typing this all out was an experience. This anime started (in Japan) less than a year after I was born. Every stage of my life, I've had a connection to some part of this show. It still isn't real that Satoshi's journey will be over in just a few months. I know it sounds cheesy and all that, but I really am grateful to have had this show in my life for all these years. Even though I'm excited to see how they will conclude Satoshi's story, as well as the Rocket trio's, I still can't help but feel a bit sad about everything ending.
 
Spent over a week trying to figure out what to post and how detailed to go into it.

So, like a lot of kids at the time I caught the show early on and watched the heck out of it. I was a bit shaky on Ash to some extent (I had to get older to appreciate what I think were the better features of his OS writing--at the time I was more used to the standard where even comedic protagonists tend to win all the time) but I loved the Pokémon themselves and it made the world of the games feel bigger and more alive, which was a great strength.
It was also among the earlier shows I watched that was heavily serialized and I was old enough to follow (there were some older ones where I was too young to really keep up with the plot due to changing timezones and not being in control of the remote, like Disney's Gargoyles--my older brother preferred comedies so that's what we generally got).

In perhaps an odd coincidence I got my first Pokémon game as a present on my tenth birthday, so I "started my journey" at the same age as Ash. I didn't think about it much at the time but it feels increasingly eerie since unlike him I am unfortunately not immune to the effects of age.

One noteworthy thing is that this was really one of my first experience with fandom. My family changing to internet that didn't tie up the phone line was a big change and I spent hours and hours looking at discussion, fanwork, and so on.
Also, Jessie+James became my first ship (actually, in general I don't tend to ship in any serious manner, but I think I'd be genuinely a bit disappointed if it got hard disconfirmed, even today).

How consistently I watched it shifted over time, but even when I wasn't watching it at all I thought about it at times and looked at some fanart. I suppose it just left an impact.
 
I was a huge fan of the games and would often look up my favourite pokemon on bulbapedia. Iwanted to learn more about them and would see their anime section. From there I would read about their history and synopsis of the main episodes they were in. Ash’s Charizard and Sceptile were the earliest ones I did this on, they were my favourite pokemon at the time. Hence I’d start watching the main episodes and battles they were involved in online. I absolutely loved pokemon battles and would often imagine how they’d play out in real life. Thus from there I would check out Ash’s other major battles in that series. Before I knew it, I started getting into fillers and more plot heavy eps. So that’s how I got into the anime

I’ll admit I wasn’t the most consistent watcher bc of this. I’d often watch highlights from multiple series instead of sitting down and going through each episode as it comes. I started with OS and had watched a fair amount of iconic eps from it (many early ones, all the gym battles, ash’s captures/evolutions, league, etc). Then I moved onto AG and DP, only going through the major episodes as a kid. This was around 2009-2010 so those early series had already wrapped up around this time anyway. I watched some of BW but honestly didn’t like it. It was weird seeing Ash who had done all these cool battles being treated like a beginner again. The battles seemed pretty lame to me and I remember watching the ducklett ep at my cousins house with him, thinking how dumb it was Pikachu lost to 3 Ducklett and forgot volt tackle for electro ball lol. Still not a fan of that one. That being said, I would still keep up with BW from time to time, just checking the episode summary on bulbapedia and determining if I wanted to watch it or not. Usually the answer was no unless it was a gym battle or something like the league

XY was the first series I watched semi-consistently. I kept up with it weekly, watching the first 49 eps (last one was Bonnie and the lapras one), watching the dub on my laptop. I really enjoyed it, you can imagine how a battle fanatic like me reacted to the 3D camera and crazy strategies there. But I also liked the filler eps and companions, Clemont was my favourite and I liked the laid back feeling I’d get watching those. I did dip out for the second season, because I think there was a break and I honestly forgot to keep up with it as I got more involved in school and the like. I eventually returned around XYZ, ‘around the meeting of two journeys’ episode. I had heard buzz online about the mega evolution specials and had given them a watch and seeing Ash/Alain come head to head was pretty exciting for me. So I caught up on the major events leading up to it and watched XYZ all the way to its finish from there, enjoying almost every step of the way. Funnily enough I never thought to make a forum account at this time, I’d just stay engaged online by youtube comments. I also didn’t know anyone irl who liked pokemon that much during this time

SM was a similar experience. I watched the first 54 episodes consistently, dipped out during season 2 then came back around the last season (I think that Guzzlord 2 parter drew me back in). Initially I didn’t like the tone but the episodes grew on me. 2017 was a pretty stressful year for me (I was in year 10 and a lot of personal stuff was going on) so having a more laid back series was really nice at the time. I remember staying up around 10pm in my room watching the Litten ep, despite having school the next day. I didn’t like how little battles we got, but because I was playing the games concurrently I was pretty invested in Alola itself. So the aether arc was amazing to me and ik some ppl say early SM wasn’t great but I honestly really enjoyed those eps. I don’t see any problem with them even now. I think online I heard a lot of hate towards SM so it kinda became an underdog series for me, bc I actually enjoyed it unlike BW at the time. When I came back to watch season 3 (eps 100+) I actually discovered the forums from the bulbapedia page. I read a fair amount of posts, from some ppl I still recognise rn, but didn’t think to make an account for some reason. I was in year 12 at this time and I think I just wanted to focus more on school during this time. But I would always be there, watching Ash from the sidelines and cheering him on. During busier times or filler eps I’d just stick to summaries, but would make room for the actual eps if it looked good. Lol I remember the alola league finals, I was done with part 1 and when part 2 released I decided to check the summary briefly. I went in fully expecting it to say ‘Ash loses to Gladion in the finals of the Alola league’ but it deadass said the opposite. I almost lost it lmaoo, literally double checked if I was reading it right. So you bet I watched that episode instantly and man, what a delight it was. This and Ash vs Kukui was the icing on the cake, because things were going great during late 2019 (since almost graduated and everyone was together) that period was just peak. 2019 personally is my favourite year, and Ash winning after so long really made me sit down and wonder that anything might be possible

Journeys was ofc the series I joined the forums in, although I took a while (episode 38 preview thread if anyone remembers lol). It was also the first series where I actually sat through from beginning to end, I’d take breaks or switch between forums (sometimes I’d be more active on serebii and vice versa) but I always kept up with it. I think part of that is each episode felt exciting to me, at least most of the fillers it seemed like something important would happen (like a Goh capture, character return, pwc battle) even if it wasn’t a big deal overall. At the end of 2020, I also decided to fully go through XY and SM, so yes watching every major episode I missed in sub (a lot of the middle sections). I really enjoyed both the series, but SM is still the only series where I watched every single episode. Even in XY and journeys I have skipped a few fillers. So it’s safe to say it’s my favourite series overall, just love the whole atmosphere even if XY did some things better. Honestly most of my memories about Journeys are on here. Finally meeting other people who liked the pokemon anime (some of my friends played the games at this point but not this) and just talking about it. It has been a great time despite how inactive I can be at times, so thanks a lot bmgf and serebii forums. I have genuinely enjoyed journeys even though I wouldn’t rank it too highly compared to past series. I also gotta check out more of OS/AG/DP filler episodes (rather than summaries) but that seems pretty daunting at this time and things ofc just get more hectic irl. But I’ll see how it goes, I’m ready to leave with Ash’s conclusion but might stick around for the new series if it’s pretty good
 
Growing up, I had heard about the Pokémon anime here and there but hadn't gotten into it until OS was ending in the west.
I fell out of the series after the first half of AG, but got back into it again by the end of DP while going back to
watch it and the rest of OS-DP later on. I decided to start following the anime again from BW onward and have been along
for the ride ever since. After being bullied for continuing with the anime in high school,
I randomly found myself joining the online community.

It's bittersweet to see this era of the anime come to an end after following it all these years,
but I'm still keeping an open mind about what's coming next and I'm almost certain that we'll see
Ash and Pikachu again someday, one way or another.
 
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I'm gonna repost my comments on Ash's world championship vicory here since I think it's relevant. I was wrong about the retiring Ash part and I'm sad about that, especially for the voice actors, but I hope the new series honors their legacy.


"Hi, I’m alive. This is going to be more of a ramble than a review.

I haven’t posted in over a year. At first it was mostly due to frustration with how this series was treating Team Rocket. Squandering the best villains in the history of tv is just a big misstep, no matter the good qualities of the show.

But then during the fall of last year, my dad’s health started to fail. I spent the next months helping take care of him, but in May of this year he passed away.

It’s been a melancholy few months since then. The only episode I watched for a good while was the one where Lillie and Gladion reunited with their dad - which aired the same week my dad passed away. That hit hard as you might imagine, as did the episode about Koharu and her dad which I watched later.

I got spoiled on the outcome of Ash’s match with Leon and decided to marathon all the episodes I hadn’t watched yet. I ended up enjoying the later part of Journeys a lot - it might have been more enjoyable as a marathon due to not having to wait through the clipshows as they aired. It’s similar to my experience with Sun & Moon; most of the series was very much a mixed bag for my taste but the later episodes ended up improving my opinion of the whole thing.

The Masters Eight was great IMO. A couple of matches were so-so, but on the whole I loved it. I even loved the intermission episode between the Cynthia and Leon matches - call it a filler if you must but that was the kind of Rocket-oriented episode I’ve been missing. It even managed to make the Gachat not suck for once, which is quite an achievement. And on the topic of the Rockets, seeing them cheering for Ash and Pikachu through all their matches was huge for me.

The way the tournament (especially the matches with Cynthia and Leon) tied in so many characters and storylines from the beginning of the show up until now was spectacular. Calling it fanservice would be a disservice, this was a love letter. And the scene with all of Ash’s Pokemon cheering on Pikachu (no one is going to convince me that was just a dream - they were really there)….if I had to pick a single best scene to come out of this show? That’s the one. It excelled thematically too - you can see how Ash’s purpose is to touch the lives of the people and Pokemon he meets and give them inspiration; battling is a means to that. We might not find out exactly what a Pokemon Master is but I see it as a spiritual thing rather than a battle goal.

This was huge for someone like me who’s been watching since the beginning. Back when the show started in the late 90s so much of pop culture was taking a turn towards the dark and dreary. I was in high school at the time and not in the greatest of moods. Having a genuinely cheerful show I could turn to was a huge breath of fresh air. Ash was like the younger brother I never had and it was fun to cheer him on. The show helped me get out of depression, which…yeah, it’s like something that would take place within the show. I haven’t followed it constantly since then, but whenever I do come back it still brings me golden smiles and silver tears. We’ll see what’s next…I’m in the “unlikely they’ll retire Ash” camp. I hope the show goes on and keeps touching other people’s lives like it has mine.

I hope my dad is watching with me from beyond. His introducing me to Godzilla when I was very young played a huge part in my obsession with Japan and monsters. He didn’t see much of Pokemon but I can remember him saying “That’s tremendous!” when he saw some of an episode I was watching.

Pokemon isn’t the best-executed show I’ve ever seen but I’d be lying if I said it’s not my favorite show. Thank you Anipoke."


I'll add this song which IIRC I posted for XY's finale too.



"Thank you!! Thank you for being my friend!! Thank you!! Thank you for everything!!"
 
Watched OS on cable-tv when I was 8 yrs old back in 1998. Got so mad that my favorite mon at the time (Ash's Charizard) was dumped off at Liza's that I quit watching (lol).
Returned in 2008 during early DP and boy I'm glad I did, as this show has been part of my weekly schedule ever since. Always having the new ep to look forward to towards the end of the week has been the catalyst for getting me through a lot of painful weeks of my life.

Not gonna lie... the absolute highlight of both the show and the fandom was in 2010 during the tail end of DP. The mix of absolute shock, awe and anger among the fandom in the forum threads of Ash VS Paul P3 (DP188) as well as DP189 (Ash vs Tobias) was such a sight to behold. I still check those threads out in the archive every now and then. And the episodes themselves... I remember thinking, back in 2010, after watching the battle between Paul and Ash conclude in DP188, that this would be a battle that would never be topped. It still stands true now in 2023.

Additionally, the goodbyes in DP188 (Paul) and DP191 (Dawn) still stand as the only time where I've legit cried watching this show. DP as a whole was so incredibly enjoyable to follow, watch and discuss with fellow peers, that I will forever cherish those memories.

The series following DP obviously had their ups and downs, and I was there for it all. And now here I am, 32 yrs old, feeling like it is time to retire from this show alongside our main character.

Also don't want to forget mentioning the fact that I feel so incredibly thankful to Masaaki Iwane and Atsuhiro Tomioka for their consistent, high-quality animation and writing work on this show throughout the years. They've certainly delivered some of the most iconic moments of the show all on their own, and I don't think I would've stuck around without their work to look forward to.

Finally, without outing myself too much I'm responsible for something that I suspect helped many of you out when it comes to watching this show...
Regular subs being provided weekly from DP94 and onwards... yes, that was only possible due to my actions back in 2008. Hope you guys have enjoyed the subs throughout the years, a lot of effort was spent from my side to not only get that project going, but keeping it alive, week in week out, for almost a decade.
 
I love this thread and even though I'm not so present on here anymore I've still been wanting to say something here for a while now without quite knowing what to say. There are too many specific memories to count and so many things about this series that continue to make me smile. I can still remember running home off the bus to catch Pokemon back in the first year of the show. As I grew up I wasn't able to watch as consistently as I wanted to (mostly because I was and still am too afraid of what others think and still to this day no one that knows me in real life knows I'm a fan), but it was always something I enjoyed when I was able to. I remember "home alone" nights I would almost always dedicate to Pokemon since it was a perfect opportunity for me to relax and enjoy my favorite show and game without anyone knowing about it.

What I think stands out the most to me was how much this series has helped keep me happy during difficult times. For example I was upset and feeling old at the end of college (funny to think of that now that I'm much older) and starting re-watching old episodes to help me feel younger. I remember one day disc golfing one of my friends lost his disk over a small stream and I thought of "being like Ash" when I found a log and crossed the stream to get it (my friend was willing to just leave it). When I re-watched Unova I started climbing trees again and enjoying nature more inspired by Iris. When I was studying for a very difficult professional exam post college I still remember DP being on TV every day with 2 episodes at 5 and that would be my transition from a day of difficult studying towards being relaxed for the evening. After college when I had my own place for the first time it was so exciting for me to be able to just throw on Pokemon anytime I wanted. I remember getting up early to get ready for work and having XY on in the background, getting home from work and throwing on OS on Boomerang while I got ready for dinner, and then eventually getting my DVD sets (which is what I spent my new hire bonus on - full set of DVDs [which at the time was OS-XY season 1] from Australia and an all region DVD player) and being able to watch whenever I wanted! Odd memories stick out to me, like coming home from the zoo on a day I took off from work and A Hot Water Battle (what a classic) was on tv when I got back or seeing Pikachu Revolts during my DVD rewatch - it was the oldest episode I had actually never seen before, which made for a fun surprise (I always liked the scenes from that ep in the intro, but never knew they came from an episode I had never seen). My whole life I have always had trouble falling asleep at night because I tend to over think things, but I eventually found that watching one episode of the anime every night has allowed me to get my mind off the day and relax and think positively. Some stretches it is the absolute highlight of my day and something I really look forward to, and continues to help me through tough times (I'm about to sit down and watch BW020 [RIP Volt Tackle] after I'm done writing this).

It was also a lot of fun finding this forum and being able to talk about Pokemon with other people for the first time since 1st grade! I really appreciate this place and a lot of the people here (although I am too shy to be very personal with anyone). I first found this site googling to see if there was any hint of a chance May might come back due to ORAS promotion - and I even made a thread right away about that very topic (how daring lol - I didn't really know how these sites worked yet). I really enjoyed being on here during the XY series and talking about it week to week as well as talking about past series I never got to talk about with others.

One thing that gives me comfort is that even though the series is ending it will always still be there. What a wonderful run and there is so much wonderful content and great memories. Everything has to come to an end and I'm just appreciative of how long it was able to last and how many great moments it produced for so many of us.
 
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I've been struggling on what exactly to say here since trying to go through so many memories of my time watching the anime has been a bit tricky. I've been watching the anime since the original series. I can still remember watching "Pikachu's Goodbye" and despite having little insight into the series, I still cried and was immediately hooked afterwards. Kids' WB was my jam back in the day. Coming home from school for an hour of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! reruns felt like a reward for making through more bullying and harassment from my peers. Throw in some Batman, Batman Beyond, Static Shock and/or Jackie Chan Adventures and I'd be one happy camper for the afternoon. Watching the anime always felt relaxing and fun. I liked the characters, getting to see Pokemon from the games in animation was always a huge selling point and it was just fun. I remember being so stressed out about missing new episodes since I would have to wait about a week to see it again, depending on whether or not Kids' WB had an event week going on.

While I didn't get to see the first movie in theaters, I remember getting to see movies two through six in theaters. I loved seeing I Choose You in theaters too. There were a mix of older fans and little kids in my screening. I still remember tearing up just from the remix of the first dub opening. It was a moment that just felt so fitting for the anime's 20th anniversary and made me happy that I had bee a fan for all these years.

Plenty of long time fans have taken breaks from the anime and that is completely understandable, but for some reason, I never really did that. I honestly never really found a reason to stop watching the anime. I still had fun watching the series, I had fun talking about it online like in this site and I still enjoyed seeing them tackle each new generation. I think fans undersell how experimental the anime has always been. Each series always felt distinct to me and try out different ideas/storylines to varying degrees of successful. You won't have the same kind of experience watching an AG episode by watching an XY episode for example. The show was still formulaic and perhaps it wasn't different enough for a lot of fans, which is understandable, but for me, the different casts, new locations and new Pokemon helped to make each journey feel different enough for me. Even Ash losing never really bothered me, even when they started the more infamous defeats. The anime always emphasized the journey more so than the destination, so with that in mind Ash losing wasn't a huge deal breaker.

The Pokemon anime has always been a comfort show for me. No matter what changes around me or in my life, I could still see new episodes every week. Even now, I'll still rewatch episodes on DVD. I had to get replace my DVD player awhile ago and it took me awhile to get it installed. I really missed that part of my routine and fortunately I can continue with my DP rewatch now. I have most of the series on DVD sets. I've been avoiding the BW sets for the longest time, but I think I'll finally cave and buy those re-releases.

The news hit me really hard and in my defense, learning about it at 4AM did not help. I must have made a wish on a monkey's paw because I had wanted to wake up to anime news for months and boy, did I wake up suddenly at 4AM to anime news. Even without factoring that in, I'm still not really into the decision for a few reasons. I never really thought that keeping Ash was a problem. If anything, I think he's pretty crucial to the anime's identity. Part of the reason why I love I Choose You so much is because I thought it captured the heart of the anime, which in my opinion is the bond between Ash and Pikachu. I don't know how the anime can really work without its heart. It just feels way too late to make this change. Like I've said, I don't think that the new series is doomed to fail, but I'm not sure how much payoff they can expect from a change this huge. I don't really see this as the end of the series though. Maybe I'm just trying to comfort myself, but I still see this more as just a new series starting to tie in with a new generation, even if it is a bigger change than a lot of fans expected. I want to give the new series a chance, but I don't have a lot of high hopes for it admittedly for a few reasons. I am positive that Ash isn't going away forever and that he'll be back at some point, so that has bee a bit comforting too.

Watching the anime has helped me through a lot of difficult times in my life like losing my dogs, dealing with family issues and other traumatic events. I met a lot of people through shared interest in the anime both here and other places online. I met my best friend in middle school through our shared interest in both Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! and we're practically sisters now. I don't know I would have had these connections without being a fan of the Pokemon anime or the franchise as a whole. It's hard to express just how meaningful the anime has been for me with that in mind. The anime will always be comforting to me and being able to rewatch whatever series I want to on DVD is reassuring too.
 
I remember vaguely at maybe 3 or 4 years old, before I even ever played the games watching the entei movie and the lugia movies. Getting fire red as my first game and starting the first season of the anime. I was very on and off, outside of journeys I don't think I've watched any season from start to finish. The og series came out in the US a month before I was born. I was limited to what I could watch from it and johto as episode re aired from time to time. I was on and off with AG as it aired and with DP I watched week to week until the episode pipulp refused to evolve thought it was dumb and that I was getting to old for pokemon. I came back to pokemon at the very end of gen 5 and watched one or two episodes of BW and a couple of early XY and most of xyz. I did keep up with origins and the Mega Evolution specials though. Sun and moon I wasn't a fan of the premise "graduate like never before" and skipped all but the league episodes. Journeys was the only time I sat through most of the season.

Movie wise I am caught up with almost all movies up to gen 4 except the giratina, arceus and zoroark movies. I saw the zerora one though. So yeah my experience with the anime has been one of jumping around, watching clips, and being behind almost thr whole way through. That said I will still miss ash but I feel it is a good chance for fans to Jump back into the anime without feeling like they missed 500 episodes. I want to go back and watch the seasons so I may go back and do so now that ashs story is coming to a close. One reason I didn't want to do so before was because I thought it would never end and thus had no meaning, by giving him a finished story it feels complete although a bit of a roller coaster with all the resets he gets.
 
With news of Pokemon ending/renewing reaching me, I take to trying to catch up, only to realize how (somewhat) hopelessly behind I am. I dropped things by early SM. The reason? I forgot to keep up one day and combined with being busy meant Pokemon slowly went away for me. I love SM from what I watched back in its earliest episodes, I really wish I stuck around for the discussion. Pokemon has always been this comfort show, it's happiness and innocence feels so reassuring now. I originally watched for the battles, and stayed for the character interaction. Truthfully, as fun as battles are, after prioritizing watching some of them recently to catch up on plot, the show is more a sum of its parts.

I wish it would just go on. My impression before the announcements was the show would go on forever. Ash, Pikachu, Team Rocket, past characters and new. But still, new things can be good.

My memories for the show prior to joining the forum are sparse because I don't recall much, the Island of the Giant Pokemon episode I recall the most, and then there was the Croagunk introduction episode on a computer. I was reintroduced when a relative was watching a Battle Frontier episode and I thought, "Wait, the show looks better than I remember it".

My memories after that, watching AMVs, reading wiki articles, reading discussions, and watching clips before branching into watching the recent episodes themselves. That's when I discovered the Japanese side too. The concept of episode previews still perplexes me. Love a lot of the opening and ending themes.

I wish I could remember more, but forming new memories is good too. Right now I can't catch up on episodes because I'm listening to In Your Heart, LaLaLa on repeat because I haven't heard of it before and it is so nice as a ED. Right now I'm just having fun with what's already out.

Watching the last 11 episodes though. My profile picture is finally relevant for episodes.
 
Like many here, I've been watching the anime for so long that I'm not exactly sure when I started and what was the first episode I saw. Still, the first memory that comes to mind is watching the Caterpie episode and being overjoyed when it evolved.

I remember watching this episode at my mother's friend's house, with her children, on Cartoon Network. However, I didn't have cable TV, and therefore I didn't know when I would be able to watch the anime again. Fortunately, some time later, I found out that it was also on open TV.

Honestly, I don't have many memories of that time, I just know that I loved Pokémon anime, just like Digimon, and that watching it was one of the most important and satisfying things for me. Some of my memories at the time are that I was stupefied with "Ash's Haunter" and very sad that he didn't get the Pokémon, which is why this evolutionary line is, even today, one of my favorites.

At the time, my parents subscribed to Recreio magazine, and in almost every issue there was something about Pokémon. I would then cut out the drawings of the Pokémon that were on it and spend full days playing with them.

In addition, my 6th birthday party was Pokémon themed. As for the films, I watched the three and four at the Cinema and I would have seen the news others too, if any Cinema close to my city had shown them.

After a while, I stopped watching Pokemon. I don't know, exactly, if it was because I started studying in the morning or because the anime stopped showing on open Brazilian TV.

What I do know is that during a vacation, after a while without seeing the anime, I started watching it on TV Globinho, but it was no longer the OS, it was Pokémon Advanced. I didn't expect changes in the design of Pokémon, let alone Misty's replacement, and, at first, I was very annoyed and disgusted with the anime. My vacation ended and I "never again" saw it.

Then, a cousin of mine bought the Game Boy Advance and the game Pokémon Sapphire. Well, I had played Pokémon before, on friends' Game Boy Colors, but I had never had the opportunity to play the full game. Now that my cousin owned it, I could play it more.

At the time, I had a PS2 and my cousin loved GTA San Andreas, he spent whole afternoons playing it at my house. On the other hand, I was playing Pokémon Sapphire at that same time. Oh boy, I played that game dozens of times. So, one day, I bought my cousin's Game Boy and later a Pokémon Fire Red and Emerald game too.

These games reignited my passion for the franchise and left me with a longing for the anime. However, I couldn't find the latter on any open TV channel until that.... I found it.

I think it was at the end of 2007 when OS started to be broadcast on Rede Vida, a religious Catholic channel Lol. The transmission was bad on my TV, there was a hiss in the background and sometimes gray streaks on the screen, but, still, it was the best time of the day.

Some time later, the anime began to be broadcast on Rede TV, which, after a while, began to broadcast Pokémon Advanced. This time around, I was already prepared for the changes and familiar with Hoenn from the games, so I came to love this generation of anime as well.

In fact, I was so hooked on this generation that, on one occasion, I didn't want to go spend Christmas on a farm with my family, as I would miss out on never-before-seen episodes. My great uncle, now deceased :cry:, assured me that he would not watch the 6 pm soap opera to let me watch the anime.

Afterwards, Rede TV broadcasts the entire Diamond e Pearl saga and, perhaps, the beginning of BW before the Pokémon anime leaves its grid. It was, therefore, time to start following the anime on the internet.

I remember that, just like what happened to me in AG a long time ago, I didn't adapt to the new dynamic of BW, and after trying hard to watch the anime, I ended up abandoning it. I watched, later on, the league episodes however.

Because of that, when XY came out I didn't pay much attention to it. It wasn't until halfway through the series that I gave it a chance and then I fell in love with the franchise and the characters all over again. Indeed, some episodes brought much-lost joy to me, and the characters, from Chespin to Serena, were all very intriguing and likable.

Later on, I was floored by the sharp change that was proposed in the next generation, Sun and Moon. As I grew older, Ash did the opposite, and the whole shonen anime dynamic shifted into a slice-of-life kindergarten anime dynamic. After a while, I left the Pokémon anime again, although I later too saw a few episodes of Sun and Moon which, in a way, I quite enjoyed.

Pokémon Journeys I followed very little, I only watched a few pre-selected episodes that I thought I would like or that had some nostalgic or epic appeal. In fact, some episodes, like the one with Serena, were incredible in my eyes, but several others were so-so at best.

And here, finally, we are at the end of the anime, that is, the saga of Ash and his Pikachu as protagonists, the only constants, besides the Team Rocket trio, in the anime for more than 25 years.

Like most, I didn't expect such a change. And while my heart is numb with a nostalgia-soaked void, it is, in a way, also curious about the future of this much-loved franchise and how, once again, the anime will reinvent itself. Because the truth is that, in recent years, I've been more disassociated from anime than I've ever been before.

For now, I just want to enjoy and soak up the final moments and episodes of the televised journey of legendary Pallet Town trainer, Ash Ketchum. As for that, I only saw three episodes of the final mini series, as I intend to see the rest only on a holiday / weekend when everything is already properly ended.

Sorry for the long exposition, and thanks to everyone who has had the patience and interest to listen to my personal story and perspective on the amazing world of Pokémon.
 
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These snippets contain just some of the many, many precious memories I carry with me in my heart from this, my most beloved and favorite anime. I've got much more to share later, but I'm saving it for after the last episode airs. :bulbaLove:
 
I began with the sneak preview of Battle Aboard the St. Anne's English dub, and was hooked, was my very first Anime as a boy & it had my attention from the get go.

I watched the entire run on Syndication through UPN and affiliates, and then followed the dub to Kids WB: always liked it, the first 8 years were its halcyon days and the Series at its best overseas. Never knew who dubbed it (surprising it was 4Kids/4KMedia, given their infamous reputation elsewhere), but I was hooked. I followed it almost religiously from "The Problem with Paras" to "Pasta La Vista." I remember I was a bit upset when Misty left in "Gotta Catch Ya Later," but other than that, I still liked the Series enough to follow its entire original English run from its beginning to its end.

Like @InfiniteBakuphoon I distinctly remember catching the first airing of "The Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon," hating it, then checking out the Forums to find out that TPCi had decided to yank the dub rights from 4Kids (seems to be the case that they wanted to cut costs on the production and go cheap after all, Stuart's theory checks out, he was telling the truth indeed- hence the dub went back to TAJ apparently, and then there was all kinds of BS they spouted back when they went by Pokémon USA that it was received well, people liked it, etc.) and had recast top to bottom the entire dub cast & replaced all of the writers except James Cathcart, Kayzie Rogers, and Rodger Parsons. I saw the redub on CN, still thought it was terrible though, mildly better but really bad nonetheless and wasn't impressed at all.

This was my cue to check out of the Pokemon Anime completely, and be completely done with the Series due to the absolute slap in the face Pokémon USA had given everyone who had made the dub what it was until that time (the most hated VA changes were Ash, May, and Brock at the time, still think to this day the latter two are dreadful in the modern dub Era, I even liked Bauer and Bosch's bland, generic, flat takes on Brock more than Rogers' very deep, very gruff rendition & Melody is nasal as May but I prefer it to Knotz's sultry, moaning-through-her-lines take, but Stuart was the best by far as was Taylor, IMO), but I still would glance at it on CN (I remember cringing so many times in BF & DP at the voice acting & writing in the dub, a lot of the lines and deliveries made me gasp in shock at how bad they were, Ash saying "Raise the roof" and "Totally wiped" made me furious in particular at the time).

I would glance at the DP dub preview on CN, then completely shut it off after I saw the dub-only Ash and Brock are gay for each other thing with the super deep, gruff, gravelly voices PUSA/TPCi had given them both there, and ignored the dub for the remainder of the TAJ run (I thought the dub was only getting worse in the late TAJ run's DP, not better, unlike some at the time). Then, I came back around the Tag Battle Arc, was better than anything else TAJ did in-house but still sucked compared to the entire 4Kids run.

Then DuArt took over and PUSA/TPCi threw TAJ under the bus like 4Kids earlier basically, I checked in for a bit but was dismayed to see they kept the TAJ mainstays instead of recasting back to the 4Kids mains when it could've been done easily then (at this time, almost no one liked the current dub's VA cast save the biggest "weebs" on the forums out of anti-4Kids spite at the time rather than genuinely liking it): was nice to hear some of the 4Kids' VAs returning in minor roles due to the 2-year embargo lifting supposedly (the dub switch story seemed to be true on both fronts- how JCC and Kayzie got the chance others didn't get makes me furious to this day, the whole recasting was done in a disgusting way that I still find appalling over a decade after the fact & leaves a bad taste in my mouth tbqh as the OGs never even got the chance to be asked if they wanted to continue on too) but I found it insulting they let Lillis use her Misty voice for Maylene but not take back over as Jessie (Knotz had only done the role for 2 years at the time, to Lillis' 8 years in the role, to put it in perspective). Nonetheless, I soldiered through it, and I remember thinking Brock & TR sounded horrible compared to how they sounded in all of OS & AG w/Brock's progressively deepening voice standing out as the worst of them all to me w/Meowth's increasingly gruff voice coming in second worst-- also hated TRio alliterating and rhyming almost all their lines, Meowth's "Dig it, jack," "Lugs," "Mugs," etc. which he never said before, then read Dogasu's compare and agreed with him w/DP153. I thought Ash got a lot better as did Dawn, though, but still Ash sounded forced and strained whenever he had to yell or emote at any times, than he was in the later TAJ dub but still sounded worse than he did in the entirety of the 4Kids dub in the DuArt dub to the end of BW.

Then the BW dub debuted, my expectations were rock-bottom at the time, as I thought DP was the dub at its overall worst of the first 3 sagas save less censorship & a bit more OST kept than in AG (not much or enough to justify the recast purge in late AG at all IMHO, DP in the Anime didn't keep that much of the OST at all, a lot of false rumors go around in this fandom) & some silence at times (meanwhile the VA work, script writing, and intros were all notably worse than in 4Kids' AG dub in TPCi's DP dub IMO, even TPCi's first OP in BF was better than the DP Rap or Sinnoh League Victors themes too for that matter). And...I was impressed, for the first time I could actually get through TPCi's dub without cringing at the way someone spoke or delivered a line and having to turn an episode off! I enjoyed the first Season of BW dubbed more than I had anything after late AG dubbed, and thought they were finally going to continuously try, but my hopes gradually faded as the BW dub replaced more of the OST as it went on and by the end, TPCi was keeping only as much as 4Kids' did in their last dub Season of AG. This, however, was NOTHING compared to...

XY. Where do I even begin? Hiring Goldfarb was the second worst decision TPCi made to me for the Anime & Movie related dubs etc., only eclipsed by the late AG era dub recast that stuck us with the current VA cast (who I think despite doing so twice as long, remained inferior to the OG dub VA cast for their entire run and got bad again in this Era of the dub-- progressively worsening with each Arc like the dub itself, until hitting rock bottom abysmal in JN's dub). Not only was TPCi replacing more of the OST than 4Kids EVER did in their ENTIRE dub by this point, but Natochenny's Ash began to degrade again, this time instead of into a gruff man's voice like she did in late BF/early DP, a gruff woman's voice here in XY's dub. Add to that Bonnie had a nasally tone to her voice, Serena sounding a bit more like a teenage girl than a 10 year old girl, etc. and I was checked out of the dub for good. I had started watching the Japanese Version during BW's dub Era, but I fully made the move to the OG Japanese Version from XY onward, never looking back at the dub ever again other than to count OST pieces kept in one sitting (and hearing that TPCi went back to censoring things like in the 4Kids days in SM & JN only rubbed salt in the wounds to boot re: the dub as TPCi promised they would stop censorship when they took over from 4Kids but broke that promise at the end of the day here). I've only checked out the last few dub eps in JN to give the new James/Meowth/Oak a fair chance post-JCC, but so far, don't think that highly of any of their takes (I think the nu-James and Meowth are better than JCC's in later years, but they are worse than any of their 4Kids VAs or JCC at the outset of the current dub in those roles to me, while with nu-Oak, he's just doing an impression of JCC's Oak which I already don't like so eh, Wingert can do better if that's indeed him).

I saw the final episodes of MPM in Japanese well beforehand, and honestly, the ending is a bit underwhelming for a 25-year-long run, but I'm happy that Ash got some kind of resolution at the end of it. Team Rocket's ending sucked, though, nor did I like Brock's much at all- Misty's was good, though, I suppose.

That about sums it up: loved the earlier years a lot more than the modern years, really.
 
My first exposure was promos for Destiny Deoxys. I was hyped for this all new epic movie! I couldn't wait to see it! The day for the movie to air came, and...


...I missed it.

My first proper episode was A Double Dilemma, though I came in about halfway through. I only watched sporadically but I still did my best to keep up whenever I could. Most notably, I remember beating the Battle Dome in Emerald the same day Ash got his first Frontier Symbol, and modeling my in game team after a mix of May and Ash.

I also somehow missed both Lucario and Mystery of Mew and Mastermind, though I would get the 2 pack DVD containing both later.

Post-Kids WB, I didn't realize it continued on Cartoon Network (and would later air early episodes on Boomerang which I didn't have anyway) until late into the BF season. I watched an episode, and heard Brock open his mouth and my jaw dropped. Who was this impostor trying to sound like him? I was put off but continued to watch, though even less than I did, and ended up dropping the show around mid-DP. I would sometimes revisit older episodes from before I dropped the show but didn't have an urge to continue the series from where I left off.

Around that point I went to the library for a school project and realized something: A friend of mine had to read the manga of an anime he liked (I believe it was Rave Master) when said anime was cut short! Why didn't I think of that before? I could just read the manga to continue the series without dealing with the audio! So I read a few issues of Electric Tale of Pikachu, as well as some Pokemon Adventures with "Ash" on the cover. Took me a while to realize they're not canon to the main anime...

To this day I pop back in every now and again if something new catches my interest (I checked out a bit of XY due to hype) but it never holds me for long.
 
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