Mega Charizard X vs. Mewtwo (Photo : The Pokémon Company International)
"Pokémon: Origins" has made its debut in Japan, approximately one month in advance from the U.S. premiere, and there may be a reason why the special isn't showing on Cartoon Network.
As Latinos Post reported, "Pokémon: Origins" is a four-part special that will premiere on Pokémon TV online starting Nov. 15 and follows the premise of the first-generation video games "Pokémon Red Version" and "Pokémon Green Version," although the latter is known as "Blue Version" outside of Japan.
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In Japan, the special launched in its entirety on Oct. 2, and elements of death and violence could be the reason the special isn't set to debut on American broadcast television.
The first episode is relatively tame as it features protagonist Red and rival Green obtaining their Kanto starter Pokémon, Charmander and Squirtle, respectively. Red loses his first rival battle in a rough fight that saw Squirtle biting Charmander's face aggressively, which was something that would not have been seen on the traditional anime of the franchise. Charmander's scream will likely make the viewer uncomfortable.
Unlike Ash Ketchum, Red is not only set to be the Pokémon League Champion but also capture every Pokémon and complete the Pokédex. He captures a handful during the first episode, including Caterpie, Spearow, and a male Nidoran, to name a few.
The first episode ends with Red winning his first Gym Leader match against Brock.
The second episode is a bit darker. Although the special does its best to follow the events seen in the video games, Team Rocket is truly shown to be a real terrorist organization and not as petty as the main anime or as the video games might have portrayed them.
Red is shown defeating Misty and Lt. Surge as well as capturing more Pokémon. He arrives in what will be the main story of episode two, Lavender Town. The story of Cubone and its mother, Marowak, is shown. As a reminder, Team Rocket was stealing Pokémon until a few grunts were confronted by Marowak as the Bone Keeper Pokémon tried to save Cubone. In a scene that is definitely too violent for traditional TV-G or TV-PG viewing on Cartoon Network, Marowak is beaten to death by the grunts and their weapons. Although the death isn't directly shown, the Team Rocket grunts are seen with their baton weapons and Marowak's scream is very audible. It will be interesting to see how the American dub will downplay the scene.
The story progresses in Lavender Town with townspeople recalling a ghost at the Pokémon Tower, which is also the cemetery site for dead Pokémon. Team Rocket holds a man hostage until Red and Green help save the day. Red battles a ghost, but only to find out, via the Silph Scope, that the ghost is Cubone's mother. After Cubone and Marowak see each other again, Marowak is seen ascending as a final goodbye.
The episode includes an old man giving Red a Mega Stone for Mega Evolution, which was something not seen in the first generation but featured in the upcoming "Pokémon X and Y" series.
In episode three, flashbacks were shown of Red defeating Gym Leaders Erika and Koga. Other flashbacks see Red using the Pokéflute to awake Snorlax and his first glimpse of Team Rocket Boss Giovanni.
By this time, Charmander evolves into Charizard and Team Rocket is still alive while no police force is in sight. Red helps rescue a woman who talks about the Master Ball's development and how Team Rocket likely sought to steal it.
Red later confronts Giovanni in an intense battle. Red uses Charizard while Giovanni has Nidoqueen in the battle. The battle is another reason why the special might not debut on Cartoon Network. The fierce battle results in the building exploding. The explosion knocks out Red and Charizard as Giovanni flees via helicopter.
The journey continues as Red is quickly shown defeating Sabrina and Blaine while capturing more Pokémon. Red also stumbles upon a book about the creation of a Pokémon named Mewtwo. Green is shown to have earned all eight badges while Red enters Viridian Gym to fight Giovanni once again.
The battle for Red's final Gym badge is different. Giovanni only uses two Pokémon from their Ultra Balls, Rhyhorn and Rhydon. It is shown during a flashback of Giovanni how Red's determination is similar to his drive when he was kid. Giovanni apparently owned a Charmander as well as a kid. In the battle, Giovanni easily defeats Red's first five Pokémon. Rhyhorn is defeated in a double knockout with Red's Hitmonlee. Charizard then defeats Rhydon.
Giovanni, apparently impressed, admits defeat and disbands Team Rocket. It is shown that Red initially rejects the Earth Badge, but Giovanni reminds him that he is a Gym Leader and won it fairly.
The final episode saw Red defeat the Elite Four in less than one-minute flashbacks. After defeating Lance, the final member of the Elite Four, it appeared Red thought he was Pokémon League Champion. Lance, however, broke the news that there is one more person he must defeat - Green.
The battle between Red and Green commences but it feels short, rushed, and could have been a lot more intense like the Giovanni battle. Charizard easily defeats Blastoise despite the type disadvantage.
With Red defeating Green, Red is the new Pokémon League Champion and is entered into the Hall of Fame.
Red's journey isn't over as he continues to capture more Pokémon, including the Legendary Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos.
As Red believes he completed the Pokédex, he finds Prof. Oak next to Green's bedside. For some reason Green is in bandages and badly hurt. Red comes into the realization that there is one more Pokémon who has not been captured - Mewtwo.
Red travels to Mewtwo's cave and has another intense battle with the Genetic Pokémon, probably even better than the Pokémon League Championship match. Mewtwo is tough and easily defeats Red's Pokémon, including Articuno. Charizard pulls a tough fight but struggles initially. Red then uses the Mega Stone to have Charizard Mega Evolve into Mega Charizard X, which again is an aspect not available in the original video games. As Mega Charizard X, Red is able to capture Mewtwo with an Ultra Ball and officially have 150 Pokémon.
The special ends with Red apparently stating he's going to continue his journey as a Mew appears by a window.
Overall, the four-part special does its best to cover the activities of "Pokémon Red and Blue/Green." While some scenes can be portrayed as too graphic for a TV-G or TV-PG rating, it is still a recommended watch and good change from the traditional anime with Ash and Pikachu.
Start at 5:20:
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