Anime DVD Review: Pokemon Adventures in the Orange Islands The Complete Collection

Pokemon Adventures in the Orange Islands The Complete Collection includes 34 episodes of the Orange Islands episodes on three DVDs. This is labeled as being a complete collection, but two episodes are not included on this set (“Stage Fight” and “The Mandarin Island Miss Match”). Both of these episodes would have been removed due to Jynx’s appearance.

Pokemon Adventures in the Orange Islands The Complete Collection
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 5, 2015

After losing the match at the Indigo Stadium, Ash makes a quick stop at home in Pallet Town before heading on his way to the Orange Islands to compete in the Orange League. Ash’s original traveling companions are Misty and Brock, but Brock leaves the group to work on Pokemon research with Professor Ivy. Ash and Misty meet Tracey Sketchit, a young man who enjoys drawing pictures of Pokemon. Tracey accompanies Ash and Misty as they journey through the Orange Islands. When it comes to the change in traveling companions, I feel that replacing Brock with Tracey was a mistake. I think that Tracey really didn’t add anything to the franchise, either during the Orange Islands or in the future sections of the series, and I found him to be on the annoying side. Yes, Brock’s constant flirting with girls could be annoying, but I thought Tracey managed to edge Brock out in the annoying department.

During the course of these episodes, Ash earns the four badges he needs to compete against Drake, the Orange League champion. After a hard-fought battle, Ash comes out the victor and earns a spot in the Orange League Hall of Fame. For many years, this would be Ash’s biggest accomplishment in the Pokemon anime.

After having an 80-episode journey through the Kanto Region, the Orange Islands section is a nice break before Ash heads off to the next region to continue his quest to become a Pokemon Master. Even though Ash doesn’t truly enter a new region, there’s still a noticeable shift in the feel of the anime. This is due in large part, of course, to replacing Brock with Tracey, but there was more to this shift than that. I’m not entirely sure I can truly put it into words. I think this is something you can only truly understand if you watch and experience it for yourself.

When it comes to this DVD release, it’s clear that VIZ Media really didn’t put a lot of effort into it. The DVD menus look like they were done on the cheap and feel more like menus that would have been made in the earlier days of the DVD format (early 2000’s) than a menu that would have been made for an item released in the 2010’s. I know that this release compiles three single disc releases together, so perhaps VIZ simply took those original singles releases and did nothing to update the menus for this release. But even for the time period those singles would have been released, these menus still look and feel cheaply done. On the menu, there is an option for “subtitles,” even though only the English dub is included. There is also an option to turn on “English Subtitles.” While this may sound strange at first, this is likely meant to be an option to be used for viewers who have impaired hearing. I think VIZ should be applauded for thinking about these viewers and making it that they can also enjoy the episodes included in the set.

On the first disc, the only extra is a preview for the Pokemon 4Ever film. This is the theatrical trailer for the film. There are no bonus features on either the second or the third disc.

Even though this a very budget line release, Pokemon Adventures in the Orange Islands The Complete Collection is still the only way to get these Pokemon episodes on home video in the United States. If you’re a Pokemon fan that wants to own as many episodes of the series as they can on home video, then you have to acquire this release in order to have the episodes set in the Orange Islands.

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