Anime Expo to Screen the Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution Film

Anime Expo has announced that this year’s convention will screen Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution (Mewtwo no Gyakushū Evolution), the 22nd film in the Pokemon franchise. The film will screen at 3:30 p.m. on July 4, 2019.

In addition, directors Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonori Sakakibara, as well as voice actress Rica Matsumoto (voice of Ash) will attend the event. They will also participate in autograph sessions at the convention.

Anime Expo will be taking place July 4-7, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Source: ANN

Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns TV Anime Special to Get a Manga Adaptation

Shogakukan has announced that the Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns (Pocket Monster: Myuutsu! Ware wa Koko ni Ari) television anime special will get a manga adaptation that will debut in the August 2019 issue of its Bessatsu Coro Coro Comics Special magazine on June 28, 2019. Machito Gomi, who is also drawing a manga adaptation of the upcoming Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution film in the main Coro Coro Comics magazine, is drawing the manga.

The special takes place after Pokemon: The First Movie, which opened in Japan in July 1998. Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (Mewtwo no Gyakushū Evolution), the 22nd film in the Pokemon franchise, is a 3D CG remake of the film, and it will open in Japan on July 12, 2019.

Source: ANN

VIZ Media Delivers New Anime and Manga Releases for May 2019

VIZ Media announces three new home media and manga publishing titles scheduled for May 2019 release.

Pokemon The Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures Complete Collection arrives on Blu-ray and DVD in May 2018. Under license from The Pokemon Company International, the collection includes all 48 episodes from Pokemon The Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures across six discs. Manga releases for May 2019 include JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 – Diamond Is Unbreakable, the latest saga of Hirohiko Araki’s award-winning multigenerational action adventure, and the new shojo series, Snow White with the Red Hair.

New Home Media for May 2019:

POKEMON THE SERIES: SUN & MOON—ULTRA ADVENTURES COMPLETE COLLECTION
Blu-ray MSRP: $49.99 U.S. / $57.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN Available May 21, 2019

When Ash sees the Legendary Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala in a dream, he makes a promise to them. But when he wakes up, he can’t remember what it was. Will the strange Pokemon called Nebby help jog his memory? Along with their new friend and the rest of the students at the Pokemon School, Ash and Pikachu explore the Aether Foundation, an organization dedicated to Pokemon conservation and care. But it may not be as innocent as it seems, and Ash and his friends will have to work together to protect the people and Pokemon they care about as they face a mysterious power like nothing they have ever seen.

New Publishing Releases for May 2019:

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 4 – DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE
By Hirohiko Araki

MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Available May 7, 2019

In April 1999, Jotaro Kujo travels to a town in Japan called Morioh to find a young man named Josuke Higashikata, the secret love child of his grandfather, Joseph Joestar. Upon finding him, Jotaro is surprised to learn that Josuke also possesses a Stand. After their strange meeting, the pair team up to investigate the town’s proliferation of unusual Stands.

SNOW WHITE WITH THE RED HAIR By Sorata Akiduki
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Rated “T” for Teens
Available May 7, 2019

Shirayuki is an herbalist famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself. The prince from the neighboring kingdom, Zen, rescues her from her plight, and thus begins their love story.

Pokemon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 Manga Resumes After a One Year Hiatus

Shogakukan’s Sunday Webry manga website has published the 19th chapter of Hidenori Kusaka’s Pokemon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 (Pocket Monster Special B2 W2) manga, which is the first chapter in over a year.

Kusaka had Tweeted in January 2019 that the manga will resume once a clear plan to the manga’s ending “was visible.”

Kusaka launched the manga in Sunday Webry in July 2017 as the 11th arc of the manga (the manga is considered part of Kusaka’s longer-running Pokemon Adventures manga in Japan). Kusaka published the manga’s 18th chapter in February 2018. Shogakukan published the manga’s 53rd compiled book volume (again counting from the first volume of Pokemon Adventures in Japan) in August 2017, and VIZ Media released the corresponding second volume of the Pokemon Adventures: Black 2 & White 2 manga in July 2018.

Source: ANN

Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Legends Anime to Premiere in the U.S. in March 2019

The Pokemon Company International has announced that its newest season for the Pokemon anime is titled Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Legends, and it will premiere on Disney XD and in the DisneyNOW app in the United States on March 23, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. One new episode will debut every day that week.

The previous Pokemon anime series, Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures, premiered its regular weekly run in the U.S. on Disney XD in March 2018. Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon similarly premiered in May 2017.

In Japan, there is no distinction between Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon, Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures, and Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Legends. The Pokemon Sun & Moon anime series premiered on TV Tokyo and its affiliated stations in Japan in November 2016.

Source: ANN

The Pokemon Company International Launches Fully Redesigned Pokemon TV App

The Pokemon Company International has released a completely redesigned Pokemon TV app with a brand-new user interface and range of features that make it even easier to enjoy animated Pokemon content. In celebration, the latest animated Pokemon film, Pokemon the Movie: The Power of Us, is available to watch for a limited time on Pokemon TV.

Pokemon TV is a digital streaming platform dedicated to offering a library of episodes from the globally popular Pokemon the Series, in addition to occasional animated Pokemon movies. The updated version of this free app is available on compatible iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets, allowing fans to conveniently access content anywhere from their favorite device. The update is also coming to Pokemon.com, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and select smart TVs in the future.

“We are excited to deliver a fully reimagined Pokemon TV experience that allows fans to effortlessly discover and enjoy Ash and Pikachu’s adventures,” said J.C. Smith, senior director of consumer marketing at The Pokemon Company International. “We are committed to making Pokemon TV a premier destination for Pokemon animation and look forward to adding more content that will provide an engaging entertainment experience for our fans.”

In addition to comprehensive updates to the user interface, a variety of content and features have been added to the Pokemon TV experience, including:

  • Full Seasons Offer Uninterrupted Viewing: Fans will be able to catch every episode from Pokemon the Series: Indigo League, Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon, Pokemon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures, Pokemon Generations, and Pokemon Origins on Pokemon TV. In the future, certain archived seasons and all upcoming seasons of Pokemon the Series will also be released in full on the app.
  • Ability to Download Unlimited Episodes and Movies: Fans will now be able to download and store an unlimited number of episodes and movies on a device for easier offline viewing. Once downloaded, the content will be available for up to seven days.
  • Seamless Watching Across Multiple Devices: Signing in to Pokemon TV with a Pokemon Trainer Club account allows fans to pick up where they left off in an episode on another compatible device.

The latest version of Pokemon TV can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play. It is also available on Pokemon.com.

Anime Spotlight: Pokemon (Updated)

Pokemon is a media franchise owned by Nintendo and created by

Satoshi Taijiri in 1996. The franchise started out as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy games developed by Game Freak, and the media franchise includes trading cards, manga, toys, and an anime.

4Kids Entertainment originally held the North American distribution rights for the anime series. In November 2005, 4Kids announced that it would not renew the distribution rights. The Pokemon Company International now oversees all Pokemon licensing outside of Asia.

Indigo League and Orange Islands

The first two seasons of Pokemon, Indigo League and Adventures on the Orange Islands, are considered as the original series. Indigo League has 82 episodes, but only 80 of these episodes aired in the United States. Adventures on the Orange Islands has 36 episodes.

At the beginning of Indigo League, Ash Ketchum is just starting out on his Pokemon journey in the Kanto Region. Ash is late for his appointment with Professor Oak to get his starter Pokemon, so when he gets there, all the regular starter Pokémon are already gone. Ash ends up with a temperamental Pikachu, but as they go on their journey, they become the best of friends.

Ash’s Pikachu accidentally destroys a bike that belongs to Misty, and she starts to tag along on Ash’s journey in the hopes of getting a replacement bike. They end up meeting Brock, who serves as the Gym Leader at the Pewter City Gym. After turning the operation of the gym over to his estranged father, Brock joins Ash and Misty on their journey.

Jessie, James, and Meowth of Team Rocket are interested in capturing a Pikachu for their boss, Giovanni. Team Rocket spends a lot of time trying to capture Ash’s Pikachu, but they keep failing.

During his journey through the Kanto Region, Ash must battle various gym leaders and earn the eight badges he needs to compete in the Indigo League Pokemon Tournament that’s held near Viridian City. Along the way, he has run-ins with his childhood rival, Gary Oak, the grandson of Professor Oak. Ash gets the badges he needs but ends up losing in his first match at the Indigo Stadium.

After this, 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. Unfortunately, the viewing audience didn’t seem to warm up to Tracey all that much and wished that Brock would return to rejoin Ash and Misty.

Ash earns four badges and competes 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. Even though Ash earns this honor, it doesn’t mean that this is the end of his Pokemon journey.

This era of the Pokemon franchise includes the films Pokemon the First Movie and Pokemon the Movie 2000.

Johto Region

The third, fourth, and fifth seasons of Pokemon (The Johto Journeys, Johto League Champions, and Master Quest) take place in the Johto region. The Johto Journeys has 41 episodes, Johto League Champions has 52 episodes, and Master Quest has 65 episodes. However, only 64 episodes of Master Quest aired in the United States. The Johto Journeys is also the first season to introduce a new series of Pokemon beyond the original 151 from Indigo League and Adventures on the Orange Islands.

After his victory in the Orange Islands, Ash, Misty, and Tracey return to Pallet Town. Here, they reunite with Brock, who has given up being an assistant for Professor Ivy. Tracey decides to stay in Pallet Town to work with his idol, Professor Oak. Ash, Brock, and Misty continue their Pokemon journey by heading to the Johto region.

During his time in the Johto region, Ash acquires several new Pokemon: Heracross, Chikorita (which evolves into Bayleef), Cyndaquil (which evolves into Quilava), Totodile, Noctowl, and Phanpy (which evolves into Donphan). He, along with Misty and Brock, meet new trainers and become friends with many of them.

During his time in the Johto region, Ash also battles several Gym leaders to earn the eight badges he needs: Falkner in Violet City, Bugsy in Azalea City, Whitney in Goldenrod City, Morty in Ecruteak City, Chuck in Cianwood, Jasmine in Olivine City, Pryce in Mahogany Town, and Clair in Blackthorn City.

After earning all eight badges that he needs, Ash competes in the Silver Conference. He makes it through all the qualifying matches and becomes one of the competitors in the Victory Tournament. Ash makes it into the Top 8, and even beats his long-time rival, Gary Oak. However, Ash is defeated by a trainer named Harrison from the Hoenn region.

After the Silver Conference, Ash decides that after a brief visit to Pallet Town, he will continue his Pokemon journey by going on to the Hoenn region. Before they make it to Pallet Town, Misty receives a message from her sisters. They ask her to return to the Cerulean Gym and take over the gym leader duties. At that point, Brock decides that he needs to return home to Pewter City to help his father take care of Brock’s brothers and sisters. Ash returns home on his own to get ready for his upcoming journey to the Hoenn region.

This era of the Pokemon franchise also includes Pokemon The Movie 3, the Mewtwo Returns special, the Pokemon 4Ever film, and the Pokemon Heroes film.

Hoenn Region

The sixth, seventh, and eighth, seasons of Pokemon (Advanced, Advanced Challenge, and Advanced Battle) take place in the Hoenn region. Advanced has 40 episodes, Advanced Challenge has 52 episodes, and Advanced Battle has 53 episodes. The two main new characters introduced in the Hoenn region are also part of the ninth season, Battle Frontier. Even though Battle Frontier takes place in Kanto, I am including it as part of this write-up for the Hoenn region. Battle Frontier has 47 episodes.

After making a quick trip home, Ash sets out to the Hoenn region, taking Pikachu as his only Pokemon. When he gets to Hoenn, Ash meets May and her younger brother, Max. It turns out their father is the Gym leader of the Petalburg City Gym. The siblings join Ash on his travels through the Hoenn region. Brock is reunited with Ash, and he joins the trio.

The concept of Pokemon contests is introduced in the Hoenn region. May becomes a Pokemon coordinator and competes at various contests to try and win enough ribbons to compete in the Grand Festival. Jessie, James, and Meowth have been sent by Giovanni, the head of Team Rocket, to try and establish a branch of the organization in Hoenn. During these seasons, Ash and his friends also encounter members of Team Aqua and Team Magma. By the end of Advanced Battle, Ash competes in the Hoenn League and places in the top eight, and May competes in the Grand Festival.

After the Hoenn League, Ash and his friends take a brief break by going back to their respective homes. However, Ash, Brock, May, Max, and Misty all come together in Pallet Town after learning about the Battle Frontier and new contests in the Kanto region. They travel together and decide to compete. During season nine, the group travels around Kanto. Ash defeats Frontier Brains, and May competes in the contests. However, during this season, Misty decides to return to Cerulean City to continue training.

At the end of Battle Frontier, May and Max head their separate ways from the group. May tells Ash that they are returning to Hoenn, but she’s going to the Johto region by herself. Brock returns to Pewter City, and Ash returns home to Pallet Town for a short break before heading off to the Sinnoh region.

The Hoenn era also includes the following films: Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker, Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys, Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, and Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea.

Sinnoh Region

The 10th through 13th seasons of Pokemon (Diamond and Pearl, Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension, Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles, and Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League

Victors) take place in the Sinnoh region. Diamond and Pearl has 51 episodes, Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension has 52 episodes, Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles has 52 episodes, and Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors has 34 episodes.

Ash Ketchum arrives in the Sinnoh region, and as expected, Brock joins him on his journey. They meet a trainer named Dawn, and she’s the daughter of a Pokemon Contest Coordinator. Dawn wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps, so she goes on her own Pokemon journey in order to work at achieving her goal.

As usual, Team Rocket follows Ash and his friends, still bungling in their attempts to capture Pikachu. Soon after arriving in the Sinnoh region, Ash makes a new rival out of Paul, a stoic and strict Pokemon trainer. If Paul is dissatisfied with the performance of a Pokemon, he prefers to release it instead of trying to train it.

Dawn already had two rivals: Zoey and Kenny. Zoey is a top Pokemon coordinator, but she is helpful to Dawn and appears to be greeted as a friend. Kenny, however, is Dawn’s childhood friend, who she thinks is a pain. Dawn and Kenny compete against each other in Pokemon contests. As Dawn competes in Pokemon Contests in the Sinnoh region, she acquires a new rival named Drew.

Several new Pokemon were introduced in the Sinnoh region. Some of the new Pokemon introduced in the region include Starly, Turtwig, Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu, Croagunk, Chimchar, and Carnivine.

During his time in Sinnoh, Ash battles all the Gym Leaders in the region: Roark in Oreburgh City, Gardenia in Eterna City, Maylene in Veilstone City, Crasher Wake in Pastoria City, Fantina in Hearthome City, Byron in Canalave City, Candice in Snowpoint City, and Volkner in Sunyshore City.

Ash competes in the Sinnoh League and makes it into the Top Four. Ash and Pikachu return to Pallet Town before heading off to the Unova region.

The Sinnoh era also includes the following films: Pokemon: The Rise of Darkrai, Pokemon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Pokemon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life, and Pokemon: Zoroark Master of Illusions.

Unova Region

The 14th through 17th seasons of Pokemon (Black & White, BW: Rival Destinies, BW: Adventures in Unova, and BW: Adventures in Unova and Beyond) take place in the Unova region. Black & White has 48 episodes, BW: Rival Destinies has 49 episodes, BW: Adventures in Unova has 25 episodes, and BW: Adventures in Unova and Beyond has 20 episodes.

When Ash arrives in the Unova region, black clouds suddenly appear, and a lightning bolt hits Pikachu. It’s suspected that this bolt came from the legendary Pokemon Zekrom. Ash meets Professor Juniper, as well as his new rival, Trip. Trip is a Pokemon trainer and an amateur Pokemon photographer.

When Ash goes to the Unova region, neither Dawn nor Brock came with him. As he starts his journey in Unova, Ash meets two trainers who become his new traveling companions. First is Iris, a wild girl from a village that has many Dragon-type Pokemon. Iris’ main Pokemon is the Dragon-type Pokemon Axew. The other is Cilan, an A-Class Pokemon Connoisseur and a Gym Leader in the Unova League with his brothers. However, he decides to leave his post to join Ash on his journey. Cilan’s main Pokemon is Pansage.

Team Rocket also make an appearance in Black & White. However, they have been promoted and take on a more serious role than in previous seasons. A new adversary called Team Plasma is introduced, and they believe in Pokemon liberation.

During his journey, Ash battles against Cilan, Chili, and Cress in the Striaton Gym; Lenora in Nacrene City; Burgh in Castelia City; Elesa in Nimbasa City; Clay in Driftveil City; Skyla in Mistralton City; Brycen in Icirus City; and Roxie in Virbank City. Ash competes in the Unova League, and he makes it into the fourth round.

Ash and his friends encounter a young man named N, and he turns out to have a connection with Team Plasma. They travel with N for several episodes for a storyline that concerns N.

After this, Ash decides to head back to the Kanto region, and Iris and Cilan accompany him. As they head to Kanto, they travel to through the Decolore Islands.

The Unova era also includes the following films: Pokemon White: Victini and Zekrom, Pokemon Black: Victini and Reshiram, Pokemon: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice, and Pokemon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened.

Kalos Region

The 18th through 20th seasons of Pokemon (XY,XY: Kalos Quest, and XYZ) take place in the Kalos region. XY is 48 episodes, XY: Kalos Quest is 45 episodes, and XYZ is 47 episodes.

Ash goes to the Kalos region and acquires three new traveling companions: a young inventor and Gym leader named Clemont, his younger sister Bonnie, and Ash’s childhood friend Serena. As the three travel together, they discover new Pokemon and the mysterious Mega Evolution. Once again, Team Rocket serves as the main adversaries for Ash and his companions.

During his time in the Kalos region, Ash must battle against these gym leaders: Viola in Santalune City, Grant in Cyllage City, Korrina in Shalour City, Ramos in Coumarine City, Clemont in Lumiose City, Valerie in Laverre City, Olympia in Anistar City, and Wulfric in Snowbelle City.

The Kalos era also includes the following films: Pokemon: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, Pokemon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, and Pokemon: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel.

New Pokemon introduced in this region include: Dedenne, Fletchling, and Froakie.

Alola Region

The most recent Pokemon seasons take place in the Alola region. As of this writing, Pokemon: Sun and Moon goes has 43 episodes, and the Ultra Asventures series is currently airing. Ash and Pikachu travel to this region so Ash can go to Pokemon school, participate in the island trials, and learn how to use the power of Z-moves.

Team Skull serves as a new adversary in this region.

As of this writing, this era has only had alternate continuity movies: Pokemon: I Choose You! and Pokemon: The Power of Us. A third film, which involves Mewtwo, has also been announced.

Pokemon Chronicles

Pokemon Chronicles is a Pokemon spin-off series that shows what happens to some of the other characters while Ash was traveling in the Hoenn region. This series made its debut in the United States on Cartoon Network on June 3, 2006.

Pokemon Chronicles is made up of episodes from Shuukan Pokemon Housoukyok, an informational magazine show from Japan hosted by Brock and Misty. Pokemon Chronicles also includes episodes starring the Pichu Brothers and the “Pikachu’s Winter Vacation” episodes. The series ended its initial run on Cartoon Network on November 25, 2006.

The major characters seen in Pokemon Chronicles include Brock, Casey, Gary Oak, Jimmy, Marina, Vincent/Jackson (this is Jackson from the Silver Conference, but in this series he’s going by the name Vincent), Misty, Professor Oak, the Pichu Brothers, Tracey, and Richie. Minor characters include Delia Ketchum, Gilbert, and Sakura. The Team Rocket members who make appearances in Pokemon Chronicles include Atilla and Hun, Cassidy and Butch, Jessie and James, and Meowth.

I had the opportunity to view several episodes of Pokemon Chronicles during its run on Cartoon Network. To be honest, I thought it was a mess. It felt disjointed, and you never knew from one week to the next which characters you would be seeing.

Also, you never knew whether you would be seeing an episode focusing on the human characters with their Pokemon, or if you would be seeing one of the stories focusing solely on the Pokemon without their trainers around. Personally, I have never cared much for the Pokemon-only stories, and felt they were a waste of time when watching Pokemon Chronicles.

The Pokemon anime series is a franchise that has evolved and changed in its 20+ year run. I will admit that I believe that the older seasons are overall stronger than the most recent Pokemon seasons that I’ve seen.