How Pokemon XY Improved the Anime Forever With One Small Change

Most fans regard the days of Brock and Misty as the greatest moments of Pokémon but they all suffered from one major problem that XY remedies.

Later seasons of Pokémon like XY actually improved an important aspect of the anime’s earlier seasons with Brock and Misty to the point where the story has actually gotten more enjoyable despite its many problems.

For many who grew up when Pokémon’s Anime first premiered in the US, the Indigo League will forever be the only version of the Pokémon anime that matters. Part of their hesitancy in embracing newer seasons has to do with Ash’s mysterious affliction of “static” immortality where, after nearly 20 years, he not only remains the same age in mind and body but suffers from a very specific type of amnesia where he just so happens to forget everything there is to know about Pokémon the moment he steps into a new region. Add on to that constantly repeated tropes like Jesse and James of Pokémon’s Team Rocket repeatedly failing to catch Pikachu, and it’s easy to see how classic fans would view the anime as growing repetitive. However, XY made one small change that has a huge impact.


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One of XY‘s best innovations is how Ash and his new travel companions treat all their Pokémon more like Ash’s Pikachu by allowing them to spend more time out in the open rather than confined to their Poké Balls. This normally occurs during meal times so viewers can actually see their various Pokémon interact with each other. These prolonged moments on screen have resulted in Ash and his friends’ Pokémon forming more intricate and nuanced relationships with each other that was otherwise impossible in the earlier seasons of the anime. Undoubtedly, one of the more dynamic and amusing developments that have arisen from this particular change is the relationship between Serena’s Pancham and Clemont’s Chespin. Both of them are bitter rivals and normally try to one up each other at the worst times, even during battles. So whenever they’re able to get along and work together, viewers are more invested.

How XY’s Pokémon Interactions Would Have Improved Classic Seasons

Aside from being cute, one of main appeals of Ash’s Pikachu has been that viewers have been able to form more of an attachment to him because he’s always on screen. Meanwhile, his other Pokémon are normally confined to their Poké Balls for the majority of every episode, some not even appearing for long stretches of time, giving viewers less time to form an opinion about them. Later seasons remedied this problem with some of Misty’s less than powerful Pokémon, like Togepi who always remained in her arms and her Psyduck, but normally because he would randomly pop out of his Poké ball and wreak havoc. Jesse and James also later shared a similar relationship with their Wobbuffet, which stood out from Meowth significantly since many don’t consider him a legit Pokémon.

Just imagine what these earlier episodes of Pokémon would have been like if Ash treated all of his Pokémon like Pikachu and his other Pokémon in XY. The time when Ash’s Butterfree flew away to create a family would have been much more emotional if he had spent more time outside his Poké ball rather than in it. Or how about when Ash almost traded him for another trainer’s Radicate during their cruise on the St. Anne? Fans watch Pokémon not because of Ash, but because of the franchise’s eponymous little monsters, a fact that XY emphasized.

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Fans can watch Pokémon XY on Hulu.

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