I haven’t decided if this makes me feel old or not. Starting later this month, the earliest POKEMON episodes will rerun every weekday at 6:30 PM PST on Boomerang, Cartoon Network’s sister channel that specializes in classic animation. It’ll be another anime to join the likes of VOLTRON and BATTLE OF THE PLANETS on the station’s line-up. Boomerang’s been around since 2000 and, as I recall, began by showing re-runs of old WB and Hanna-Barbera cartoons like LOONY TUNES, SCOOBY DOO and TOM & JERRY - - shows originally from the 30s through the 70s. Seeing as how POKEMON debuted in America only two years before Boomerang’s launch, we might have to surmise that the channel must have blazed through six decades of programming before making it to the late 90s. That, or we’re all getting old.
Given this opportunity to reflect, I figure we’ve got a good reason to discuss POKEMON as whole. The series has been running for more than a decade, now. Has it been getting progressively better, such that those earlier episodes look paltry by comparison in 2010? Or do those episodes, conversely, have a level of quality that DIAMOND AND PEARL can’t measure up to? That is to say, oh constantly-evaluating Anime Vice community… has POKEMON jumped the shark? And if it has, at what specific point did that transgression occur?
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this April - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.