I think I will be departing once Ash leaves (dubbed of course).
I remember watching the anime when it first aired in the Uk, I must have been 4 or 5 at the time, I was absolutely obsessed with it too! I remember I had a birthday party shortly after it started and my mum asked me what presents I wanted from my friends, I said only Pokémon! I remember not watching the first movie in the cinema because my mum thought I was too obsessed with it, but watched it when it came to my local community centre movie weekend that they held.
The anime holds the majority of my childhood memories, my dad was an abuser and that was quite hard, I missed out on a lot of things in my childhood, but Pokémon remained and it’s the thing that made me truly happy as a kid which is why I’ve stuck with it.
I remember finding out about the Orange Islands and Brock leaving, I wasn’t too bothered because I quite liked Tracey. But then I remember at the end finding out Brock was coming back and being very excited to have the original gang back. I remember an atmosphere of excitement at the time, new Pokémon and a new world, it was great, I think Johto Journeys started here before Gold and Silver came out (or we waited a few months before we bought them) as I remember being besotted with Ash’s Johto starters and wanting them in my game when I started and kept pressing B anytime one of them evolved.
I remember waking up Saturday mornings and watch the Kanto and Orange Islands days, then remember it swapping to Sunday mornings for the Johto saga. Unfortunately during this period, Pokemon’s popularity began to fade. I remember watching it when no one else would, however when we got to the end of Johto and Misty left, I didn’t want to watch, I hated that Ash was leaving his old Pokémon behind and Misty was leaving, and I gave up Pokémon briefly.
However I returned shortly after when RS had been out a little while, being a Pokémon fan at this time was frowned upon. However I began watching it again when I found out Misty was making a brief return. I would watch the odd episode now and again but wasn’t a weekly watcher. I remember watching several episodes though when FRLG were released as I managed to get a Pokémon Boom in my primary school again, loads of kids would come to me for advice or want to trade and battle with me, I was the Pokémon kid! During this time I watched episodes that interested me but used Serebii to keep up to date with what was happening in the anime. I wasn’t hugely fussed on Ash and Pikachu either, think because I got fed up of him ditching his Pokémon and over use of Pikachu during Johto that I was only partially interested in some episodes, like Misty return, Bulbasaur cameo episode, and of course the battle frontier to see older Pokémon shining.
But one of my favourite times was DP, I was mature enough to have an attitude that it didn’t matter what others thought, if I liked Pokémon and I enjoyed it, that’s what mattered, luckily I found a few people who were also fans, and we were able to play together. I wasn’t a huge fan of May and I hated the character of Max, especially as he seemed to take a lot of Brock’s role and stole Misty’s gag, but I heard from my brother that Ash was being replaced, so I was excited, I checked out the internet and saw pictures of Dawn and Piplup and was excited, I thought I’d give it a chance. I watched the first episode when I could, and was surprised to see Ash at the end, but I was invested at this point, then Brock returned too and I felt complete. I absolutely loved the DP anime, from its early days right to the end. I was completely invested in the character of Dawn, and the fact that my favourite (Brock) from the OS was there too, I spent every week watching new episodes on YouTube as it aired in America (we in the UK were further behind then US). I had a routine, I’d finish in work (I was dish washing in a pub) on a Saturday night, come home and sit in front of the computer and the new episode that week. I remember downloading episodes off YouTube too and adding them to my iPod and watching them on long journeys when going on holiday. The DP series was truly special to me, it was still able to hold on to a part of my childhood, but also it felt new and fresh. It was also during this time that i joined the forums, they were great times on here, spent most of my time arguing with Cybercubed on opinions over Dawn and Misty.
Of course though, after the DP series, the anime was never quite the same, I only ever watched certain episodes over the years that were of interest to me, such as a returning character or Pokémon or maybe the odd Ash battle.
And now here we are, Ash and Pikachu are leaving, and it feels sad, like the conclusion of my childhood, the new anime doesn’t look interesting to me at all, I miss the old format of travelling through a region and taking on gyms (some may say it’s stale) but I loved seeing the characters and Pokémon develop as the journey through the region and tackling the gym/contest. However the travelling across world format isn’t of interest to me, the characters look bland to me and I just generally am not interested, i will continue to love Pokemon and it will be a huge part of my life, I’ll continue with the games, but I think my time with the anime is coming to a natural
End and I am grateful for all of the memories and entertainment it has given me. I’ll miss Ash, Misty, Brock, Tracey and of course Dawn and their Pokémon, and hope that we will hear about them from time to time.