Anime DVD Review: Pokemon All-Stars

Pokemon All-Stars is a 10-disc DVD set that was released in 2007 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Pokemon. Each DVD features one of the Pokemon characters, and each disc is supposed to feature the Pokemon that is pictured on the disc. The 10 Pokemon that were featured in this set were determined by votes submitted by the fans. The 10 Pokemon featured in this set are: Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Charizard, Squirtle, Blastoise, Eevee, Bulbasaur, Lugia, Charmander, and Mudkip.

Pokemon All-Stars
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 31, 2009

The DVDs included in this set are rather “bare bones.” There are no special features included, and the discs go straight into the episodes after displaying a couple of splash screens. The only way to get to a menu is to either hit the “menu” button on your remote as the first episode on the disc begins, or play through all three of the episodes and wait for the menu to come onto the screen after the final episode finishes. I suspect that the lack of bonus features helped Viz Media to justify to economical price tag they put on this DVD set.

The idea for this release is that each disc includes three episodes that feature the Pokemon on the disc. As I watched this set, I found myself wondering why particular episodes were included on their respective discs. For example, I was a little puzzled as to why “Snow Way Out” was included on the Charmander disc. While Charmander does shoot out some fire to create an opening for Ash to make a cave in the snow, that was Charmander’s only major appearance in the episode. I’m wondering if Viz had a hard time coming up with a third episode that featured Charmander, and so decided to use this one in order to have a third episode.

Another example of this is the inclusion of “Fit to be Tide” on the Squirtle disc. While Ash did use Squirtle in one part of his gym battle in this episode, the episode actually had more of a focus on Lapras. Again, Viz must not have actually found a third episode that featured Squirtle and decided to use this one as a third since there isn’t a Lapras disc in this set.

After this box set was released, a second Pokemon All-Stars box was released in 2009. In addition the ten discs that were included in the second Pokemon All-Stars box set were also released individually in 2009. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like releasing that second set kind of diminished the point of the first set, which was to commemorate an anniversary. In my mind, releasing the second set makes this first set feel less important than it did when it was originally released.

The first Pokemon All-Stars set is a decent release for what it is. However, many of the episodes included in this box set are also easily attainable in the three Indigo League DVD box sets that were also released. If you’re a Pokemon fan who wants to own every DVD released for the franchise, then this may be worth purchasing and adding to your DVD collection. However, if all you really want to is to be able to own the entire series on DVD, then I would skip Pokemon All-Stars and focus on collecting the various DVD box sets that have been released for the various seasons of the Pokemon franchise.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the first Pokemon All-Stars DVD box set that my husband and I purchased.

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