Pokémon Journeys: The Series





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Ash Ketchum has finally achieved his life goal of becoming a Pokémon trainer. But it wasn’t always this way.

Obsessing his entire young existence of doing more than just dreaming in his hometown of Kanto, Ash was finally given a life-altering opportunity to enter the Poké world at the age of 10—one that countless Pokémon fans began following way back in the last century. Thanks to the brainy Professor Oak and the adorable, electrifying Pikachu, Ash learned all there was to know about adventuring, exploring and battling in the Poké world.

Or so he thought.

These days, Ash is a bit older and realizing that he has much more to learn. Which is why he’s become a research fellow for Professor Cerise, protégé of Professor Oak. With the extensive knowledge of Professor Cerise, Ash and his new know-it-all friend named Goh are quickly becoming immersed in the ever-expanding world of Pokémon. And they’ll need to keep their eyes peeled and their ears open for all the new adventures spinning their way.

Still Gotta Catch Them All

Since 1997, the Pokémon television series has helped propel this multimedia franchise (encompassing card games, movies, toys and videogames) to unimagined heights. Relying on the consistency of protagonist Ash Ketchum and the adorable nature of Pikachu, the Poké ball is still rolling. Now, Pokémon has entered its 24th season, called Pokémon Journeys: The Series. And it has found its new home on Netflix.

Not much has changed here, minus the fact that Ash has grown up a bit and is meeting new friends along the way. There are still plenty of Pokémon—most of whom are cute and cuddly, but a few that swing a bit darker.

And while the darker nature of some of the Pokémon might worry a parent or two, Plugged In’s Paul Asay has the perfect words to quell any fears:

[This] is a relatively innocuous show. While many anime programs can be steeped in Eastern spirituality or occult trappings, the Pokémon that litter the countryside are kinda … naturalistic? Admittedly, these hybridized bugs, birds, fishes and critters have powers that’d make even Thor envious, but they’re not intended to be water spirits or extraterrestrial demigods or whatnot. They’re more like animals. Animals that trainers capture against their will, force to live in tiny spherical homes much smaller than their bodies and send out to do battle with other similarly enslaved creatures.

Need I say more? Well, maybe.

You might see an animated midriff or two, and you’ll certainly witness a few “battles” here and there paired with the occasional perilous scene, but that’s about all. Pokémon, the show tells us, enjoy these battles. And even when they lose, the creatures only faint. With a little TLC, they’re ready to fight another day.

And, who knows, your kids might learn a thing or two about kindness, the importance of community and the value of knowledge. Or they may just jump around the house battling their siblings and wishing they had a Pikachu or two of their own.

Episode Reviews

June 12, 2020: “Enter Pikachu!”

Ash oversleeps, missing Professor Oak’s Pokémon camp and Pikachu finds an unlikely family.

A Pokémon emits a smelly gas. A few Pokémon battle. A Pokémon falls off a cliff but is rescued at the last moment.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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