After having watched the first episode of the new Pokemon series, Black and White (Best Wishes in Japan) I felt it was so completely different from it’s predecessors that it warranted a first episode review.

Everything is changed. It begins with Ash preparing for a trip with his mom and Professor Oak to the Unova region, and an introduction of the Pokemon World by the tried and true narrator. Ash’s eye color has changed to a light red / average brown and his lines are more thought out it would seem. It appears that even though he hasn’t aged past 10, that he has grown as a person from his experiences in the anime, the bond between he and his Pikachu is stronger than ever.

Interestingly, the new intro is CG and features an original OP song. I rather like the rhythm and the lyrics are very fitting.

“It’s always hard when the journey begins; hard to find your way, hard to make new friends. But there is nothing you can do, because you’ve got the power inside of you. It’s not always Black and White, but your heart always knows what’s right. It’s out about win or lose, it’s about the path you choose when the journey begins… Pokemon!”

Team Rocket seems to be taking things seriously this time and are going to try even harder to capture Pikachu. Obligatory outfit change of course. Another difference with Black and White is that it seems much more cinematic, as Ash arrives in Unova there is a beautiful panning of the shore done and short scenes of radio towers preparing for his airplanes arrival.

Shortly After arriving in Unova, a giant thunderstorm occurs and Pikachu gets violently shocked by the shadow of a Zekrom in the sky, which seemingly left him unscathed. Ash and co. made their way to the new Professor’s lab to meet the new starting Pokemon of the region, Oshawott, Snivy, and Tepig. When a new trainer Tripp arrives to pick his first Pokemon, Snivy.

Ash challenges him to a battle. Mid-battle, Pikachu’s thunderbolt and volt tackle short out, and Pikachu get’s beaten by Tripp’s powerful Snivy. Ash goes back to the lab to find out that Zekrom is the cause of all this nonsense and that he paralyzed Pikachu’s ability to use electric attacks!

Zekrom reappears to place judgement over the lab, and Professor Juniper recites some of the lore about him. When he shocks Pikachu again, the episode ends with an ominous narration of the events that transpired.

This series feels incredibly fresh and I am very excited for it’s potential. Look forward to a review of it again when it’s completed airing! It airs Saturday mornings at 8AM central.