It’s Ash Ketchum’s tenth birthday, and he’s ready to do what many 10-year-olds in the Kanto region set out to do—become a Pokémon Trainer.
Just in time for the holiday season, Pokemon: Season One is available for the first time for Blu-Ray! Is this Champion’s Edition worthy of the title Pokemon Master?
The packaging to the collection is quite a bit of fun, with a transparent protective sleeve featuring Pikachu and the title. Removing the sleeve reveals the actual box, designed to look like the Pokedex Ash carries around with him. From there, the jeweled case slides out with a friendly cover showing Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, and Pikachu. The case houses six discs, each made to look like a Pokeball. The discs are well balanced in terms of content, each containing between 8-9 episodes, ensuring that unlike some TV collections, you won’t have to switch the discs too frequently in a marathon.
The visual and audio quality presented in the Champion’s Edition is very nice. The collection encompasses the first 52 episodes of the anime, which ultimately makes for nearly 21 hours of Pokemon bliss. It’s unfortunate that the collection doesn’t finish out the Indigo League for which it is named, stopping before Ash has even collected all 8 badges, but it remains a sizable collection.
Included with the Blu-Ray is a sampler volume of the Pokemon Adventures manga by Hidenori Kusaka and artist Mato. The sampler contains chapters 1-4 of the manga, which follow Red as he sets out on his Pokemon journey. The manga has a faster pace than the anime and is more action packed, giving it a nice contrast that prevents it from seeming like a retread of the same material. Also included is a recipe for a Pikachu designed sweet potato dessert, a pleasant surprise for a Blu-Ray set.
The special features on the blu-ray discs themselves are disappointingly sparse, by comparison, consisting only of a “Who’s that Pokemon?” game and two versions of the completed Pokerap. The “Who’s that Pokemon?” game lacks both music and voice over, forcing the players to bring all the energy to the game.
Is It Good?
Fantastic picture and audio quality makes the set an enjoyable addition to the collection, but older audiences who grew up on this iteration of the anime may find the lack of special features off putting. The inclusion of the manga makes for a nice addition and the recipe for the sweet potato gives a nice activity for the whole family.