Pokemon: Azalea Adventures

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Pokemon hit the American shores like a tidal wave, crushing other properties and raking in a massive amount of cash. We’ve seen plush toys, lunchboxes, feature films, and of course, the television series, which Pioneer has been releasing on DVD. The franchise has lost most of its steam with the kids, but some fans still remain and I have to admit, I like to watch the series. It’s predictable and often cheese laden, but also fun and I can’t resist the antics of Team Rocket. While the feature films have been less impressive, the series continues to be solid and often very good, so I am pleased to find more episodes issued all the time. This series is beloved by some and despised by others, but in any case, Pokemon on DVD is here to stay, it seems. Below is a list of the three episodes included on this disc, as well as a brief synopsis for each.

1. Good ‘Quil Hunting – Ash and his friends have found themselves in trouble thanks to Meowth before, but never like this, I assure you. A giant robotic version of the pesky feline has chased the group inside of a cave, where darkness and eerie shadows abound. But in the midst of this fog of black is a valuable Pokemon, just waiting for someone to capture, train, and turn it into a prize team member. This is a wild Cyndaquil and once Ash sees it, he is determined to add it to his roster, though Ash isn’t alone in his intentions…

2. A Shadow of a Drought – The path to the Azalea gym has been a long, tough one, but Ash and his friends have finally arrived. This means Ash is anxious to challenge the gym leader and get his badge of course, but he soon discovers that will have to be put on hold. It seems the area has been pulled down to almost grinding halt, thanks to a drought that crippled the locals and forced most activity to be slowed or ended. But Ash has no plans to leave without his badge, so he enlists his friends and sets out to restore the area, which could be tougher than it sounds. He will need to rescue a Slowpoke inside of the town well and let loose the cool, clean waters, but of course, some obstacles end up in his path to success…

3. Going Apricorn! – Ash has a lot of Pokeballs in his collection, but they all look the same and are basic in design, though he’s never pondered that before. This all changes when he meets Kurt however, as this person creates unique, designer Pokeballs that suit the owner and of course, Ash and his friends can’t resist. Ash, Misty, and Brock all have their dream Pokeballs in mind and they don’t even have to pay full price, but the services aren’t exactly free, either. The trio must brave the nearby forest and all the wild, dangerous Pokemon within it, to complete a task and nab the rights to their special new Pokeballs.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame transfers, as intended. As per usual for this series of discs, the episodes look clean and pleasant, with no real errors to discuss. I’ve seen these programs on normal television and they looked fine, but here they seem much clearer and sharper, good work from Pioneer here. The colors come across in bold and bright form, with no smears or the like to report at all. I saw no troubles with contrast either, as black levels were on the mark from start to finish also. Simply put, these episodes look much better than broadcast and that should be more than good enough to please fans of the series.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included audio mixes sound better than the television renditions, if just because of a little more presence in some scenes. I don’t think your ears will be dazzled here, but the bases are more than covered and there’s some nice spark at times, so you won’t be disappointed either, not even close. The vocals are clean and smooth throughout, with no volume or clarity issues in the least to report here. No issues with the music or sound effects either, all the elements seem solid and in working order with these mixes. This disc also includes optional English subtitles, should you need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains no bonus materials.

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