TV Series Review: Pokemon the Series: Sun and Moon – Ultra Adventures
Starring: Sarah Natochenny, Rosie Reyes, Marc Swint, Laurie Hymes, Jessica Paquet, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld and Ikue Ohtani with Daniel J. Edwards, Abe Goldfarb and Marc Thompson
Network: Disney XD (Check Your Local Cable or Satellite listings)
My Rating: ****/5
The long-running “Pokémon” anime has entered its 21st successful season with “Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon-Ultra Adventures.” Continuing the storylines established in “Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon,” this adaptation of the hit video game series is one of the most unique versions of the franchise in years.
During the course of his studies at the Pokémon Academy, Ash discovers a mysterious Pokémon while exploring the woods with Pikachu. After he and his classmates dub the creature “Nebby,” the activities of strange Pokémon known as “Ultra Beasts” attract the attention of the “Island Guardians,” as well as a company known as the Aether Foundation. As a scientist known as Faba seeks to use Nebby to further his research on the Ultra Beasts, the Alola region is about to face its biggest challenges yet.
While many longtime fans of the franchise initially scoffed at the changes made to the story structure of the anime, this version of the series has established itself as one of the most distinct versions of the world of “Pokémon” yet. Much like the video games the series adapts, the anime gives a shakeup to the conventions that have been part of the series for years. The character dynamic and plot lines blend humor and adventure with a vibrant, colorful art style. The animation uses a fluid way of movement that often resembles Western-influenced anime, such as “One Piece,” “Cowboy Bebop,” and “The Big O.”
Even though some fans are still unhappy with the liberties taken with the games, as well as how the anime varies so much in style and tone compared to the “XY” series of the anime, this second season of the “Sun and Moon” series has definitely helped the journey in Alola come into its own. Mentor figures such as Samson Oak and Professor Kukui are joined by the likes of Professor Burnet as well as the Aether President Lusamine and her assistant, Wicke. Lillie’s brother, Gladion (voice of Eddy Lee), is one of the most compelling rival characters of the franchise in years, and the series is also teasing appearances from characters such as Sophocles’ cousin Molayne as of the latest Japanese episode.
Overall, “Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon- Ultra Adventures,” is a unique take on the long-running anime that suggests a strong future for the franchise “under the Alolan moon.”