Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Pokemon, A New Era
If my calendar is correct, Pokemon Black & White has just been released in North America. My family has been anticipating this event for a while. We pre-ordered the game (two copies: Black for the boy and White for the girl) and even before we could order the game, my husband has been watching the Japanese version of the cartoon (subtitled into English by Japanese fans) online with the kids. The neat thing is watching them absorb the Japanese aspects of the show. For instance, the kids know the Pokemon by their Japanese names, which are sometimes altered for the Western audience. They also have strong opinions about which names should be kept in the original Japanese and which names are acceptable translations / alterations. Both kids can sing the opening theme song - in Japanese. Most of the episodes end with Professor Oak giving a status report and adding his own, cringe-worthy haiku poetry; the girl always moans and the dad always cheers when the corny poems appear. The kids feel proud that they've had a "sneak peek" at a show that probably won't make it to Canadian/US airwaves for another year at least. The art reflects the characters they've met while watching the show with their dad.