DVD Review: Pokemon Season Sixteen, Collection One - B&W: Adventures in Unova Collection One (2013)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Monday, July 7, 2014 0 comments

"Pokémon Season Sixteen, Collection One" (AKA Pokémon B&W (Black and White): Adventures in Unova Collection One) is a show about the adventures of a boy named Ash Ketchum and his loyal Pokémon named Pikachu.  After collecting all of the badges he needed, Ash is now eligible to enter the Unova Pokémon League to where he must battle against other great trainers to win a load of respect and a huge trophy.  After going through the tournament battling trainers he decides to travel around Unova a bit more with his friends Iris (a female with hair that looks like a Pokémon who travels with her Pokémon, Axew) and Cilan (A Pokémon Connoisseur).  While on their journey they run into a mysterious person named "N" who says that he is a friend to all Pokémon and that he can hear their "inner thoughts".  N is also in danger as a terrible group of Pokepirates named Team Plasma is after him to use his unique ability to summon something terrifying so it's up to N and Ash to put a stop to them and save Unova (and possibly the world) from danger.  Will Ash save the world...  Again?  Only time will tell.  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The first few episodes in this volume repeat ideas that were found in the first season and while you'll find the lack of originality to be lazy, they were handled well though and they did end up being fairly decent episodes.  Ash at the Unova Pokémon League was a better storyline but still lacks originality although still enjoyable.  After that the show picks up greatly when they introduce "N" and then we get some of the best storylines found in the entire run of Pokémon, heck this is one of the better seasons we have gotten in a long time.  You'll find yourself really getting into this show and flying through this in one sitting.  Some of the drama and comedy was a little bit too juvenile and weak for me but this season also has some of the strongest drama out of the entire series and it also has a darker tone compared to all the prior seasons.  The action in this show was a little predictable but still exciting and fun to watch nonetheless.  You do get some moments in the battles where you will go "oh man that is some major BS man" and it did get a little annoying but the show also recovers itself well enough to calm you down.

The main characters in this show were very good and I really enjoyed the newer characters that were added in the prior season although they aren't as great as Brock and Misty but they were really enjoyable and help with the show greatly.  I like how they used Team Rocket in this season as they pop up every now and then instead of every episode and it does work and stops you from getting sick of them.  I wouldn't say that they were used perfectly though as they do have some scenes that were very unnecessary.  The secondary characters are the same as the rest of the seasons as they are either hit or miss.  One of the side characters I enjoyed in this show was a man named "Looker" who is a police officer in the same vein as "Dick Gumshoe" (from the "Ace Attorney (2001 - Ongoing)" series) and a serious version of Frank Drebin (from "Police Squad (1982)").  I wasn't a fan of N at first due to him having a very annoying hippie personality but the more I watched him the more he grew on me and he ended up being a really great character.

The artwork in this season was not bad at all with a basic yet beautiful look.  The backgrounds were decent with something fun to be spot in most of them but there were some dull looking backgrounds as well.  Character designs looked clean and they have seem to have added more detailing to the characters in this season.  Not all character designs were good though as there were some very lazy designed characters and that includes both humans and Pokémon alike.  The Pokémon looked simply magical in this show and were animated very nicely and they do a lot more with their expressions in this season which adds a lot of charm and character.  There was one story-arc in this season that had a more beefy budget and ended up looking really good to the point where it nearly had the same quality as the Pokémon movies and I was very impressed with it. 

Some episodes could've been rendered a bit better though as those particular episodes had some scenes that were a bit blurry and pixelated.  Some scenes also looked a bit off like they had censored something out to keep a G rating but there wasn't much of those scenes in this volume.  One episode that had some interesting artwork was "The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion".  In that episode you have Ash telling stories about him and Charazard in the typical clip show style but what made it interesting was that they didn't re-use clips from old episodes but instead used new and remastered artwork.  It looked very good and has got me wanting to see all of the older episodes done with new and remastered art similar to what they did to the "Dragonball Z (1989 - 1996)" series with "Dragonball Kai (2009 - 2011)".

An example of the new/remastered artwork from "The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion".
I'm mixed on the English dub as some of the voices did not match the characters at all and would've sounded better switched with other characters.  There were also some decent voices in this show that did work well with the characters and they ended up being enjoyable.  The way they could make the English dub a bit better is if they had better voice direction.  The soundtrack in this show mainly uses tunes and effects found in the video game series plus some original tunes as well.  Most of the soundtrack had a very charming sound that will make you feel good and nostalgic but some of the original tunes sounded a bit cheesy but are forgivable so you won't go into a fit of rage when you hear those weaker tracks.

Overall this is a really decent volume and I am really looking forward to what the second half of this season is like.  If you are not a fan of Pokémon past the Johto years (or maybe even before that) then you should enjoy this volume as I was in the same boat as those fans and ended up really enjoying this volume (not to repeat myself).  I do recommend checking out this volume as you will enjoy it.  Very decent show. 

Title: Pokémon Season Sixteen Collection One - B&W: Adventures in Unova
Animation/Production Studio: Team Kato, Nintendo
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Adventure, Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 550 minutes (25 Episodes)
Distributor: Beyond Home Entertainment
Rating: G
Price: $24.95
Recommended: Yes


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