Pokemon Black & White first hit UK airwaves in February 2011, leaving fans disappointed – not because it wasn’t good, but because there were only two episodes. Now, UK fans can rejoice as we can expect to see Pokemon Black & White back on our TVs in June. Starting June 4th, CiTV will air two episodes of the new series at 11.00 am on Saturdays and Sundays bringing a whole new generation of UK fans into the Pokemon world. Pokemon Black and White is set to be the biggest change in the franchise, featuring Ash’s new design, Team Rocket’s return with a new darker tone, and brand new cities, gyms, and Pokemon direct from the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White video games. But what can we expect? Will this be a must-see toon?
Let’s take a look back…
In the 1990’s, Pokemon (aka Pocket Monsters), an anime straight from Japan, was dubbed into English by the 4Kids. This series saw Ash and his main partner, Pikachu, travel with water Pokemon trainer Misty and gym leader Brock on a quest to win the Pokemon league. This series was a huge success, bringing various spinoffs and sequels; Brock was replaced by Pokemon sketcher Tracey in the Orange League arc, then returned to the team in the Johto series, based on the Gold and Silver. Pokemon then reached theatrical release with Pokemon the movie, and later Pokemon 2000. Both were box office hits, yet followup movies have only been released on DVD.
Pokemon ended it’s normal season run with the Kanto to Johto series, later rebranding as Pokemon advanced to coincide with the Japanese series Pocket Monsters: Advanced Generation. Starting with Advanced, Ash and Pikachu were introduced to new friends May and her little brother Max. Brock remained by his friend’s side, but Misty left the series, only to appear in a two part episode and special mastermind of mirage Pokemon. Pokemon contests and double battles were also introduced, following in the foot steps of the Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire and Emerald video games.
The main characters had new voice actors as of Battle Frontier. To this day, fans still argue over the matter. After eight seasons (and movies and specials and Pokemon Chronicles…) 4Kids lost the rights to Pokemon. Pokemon USA (PUSA) took over the anime, and brought Pokemon to the Battle Frontier series, concluding the Advanced Generation arc. Ash returned to Kanto, and May and Max left the series. May would return in four episodes of Diamond & Pearl, which started shortly after, featuring Ash, Brock, and Dawn in the Sinnoh region. Paul made his debut, as well as other coordinators, Pokemon Super Contests, and other aspects from the Pokemon Diamond & Pearl video games.
A handful of movies and specials later, and here we are with Pokemon Black & White. The new toon features Ash and Pikachu, joined by Gym leader Cilan and Dragon trainer Iris in a quest to enter and win the Unova Region Pokemon league. Based on the new video games Pokemon Black and Pokemon White, this series starts a whole new beginning for the Pokemon franchise. And so here we are, on this wild ride, about to kick off in the UK. You ready?