Pokemon Vol. #12: Pikachu Party (Mania.com)

By:Andrew Tei
Review Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999



What They Say
Biking across a long bridge reunites Jessie and James with their old bicycle gang, but can Ash and his friends withstand the reunion? Next, meet the world's greatest Pokemon impersonator Duplica and her incompetent Ditto! Ditto has to become a real impersonator to escape from Team Rocket! Finally Pikachu meets up with a whole herd of wild Pikachu, which leads to a decision: to journey with Ash or stay with its own kind. Season One, Episodes 34-36

The Review!
Unicycle gangs, a second Ash Ketchum, and a whole boatload of pikachus await us on this volume of Pokémon. Bring it on!

Audio:

The only language included is the English dub that is a stereo mix with pretty much all the sound directed towards the front sound stage. The sound track is clear though, and there were no problems in the sound levels. Dialogue is also very clear.

Video:

When I watched the first episode on this DVD, I noticed a lot of scenes were dark, then all of a sudden bright. At first, I thought this was a mastering problem, but I learned that 4Kids got scared during from the Pokémon seizure incident. This of course, makes parts of the episode look awful. There are scattered compression related artifacts through out the show, especially in the dark blues and during a scene with the sun settings where the red and orange show macro block problems.

Packaging:

Fourteen pikachus adorn the cover with our Pikachu in the bottom right cover, truly a Pikachu Party. The spine does not feature a volume number. On the back cover, we have a one line summary of each episode plus pictures of Team Rocket on their unicycle and some of Ditto?s transformations. An insert featured inside replicates the menu used on the DVD. Also included, is a mini Pokémon comic you can only get from this volume.

Menu:

The menu is very simple with selection from starting each episode, the opening, or the end. It?s static and there?s no audio.

Extras:

None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Three more episodes are presented, with just the opening and closing credits surrounding them. While most Pokémon are filler, these in particular stand out.

Brock, Ash, and Misty notice a bridge has been completed that?ll shorten their trip to Sun Town, but you have to have a bike to cross. Too bad Ash ruined Misty?s. They finally score some bikes, but they encounter The Bridge Bike Gang on the way. Yes, a gang?riding?bicycles. Jesse and James were a part of that gang before joining Team Rocket, so the gang attempts to help them capture Pikachu.

When the rain starts to pour, the gang runs into Ditto?s Mysterious Mansion to hide from the rain. Inside, they encounter Ditto, a pokémon that can transform into any other pokémon, and its owner Duplica. Unfortunately, Ditto can?t change its face though. Team Rocket chooses to focus its efforts on Ditto after discovering its power, so it?s up to ?Ashy? boy and gang to save it.

Lastly, Pikachu?s Goodbye features the gang finding a horde of pikachus in the forest. Pika pika! After the wild pikachu warm up to Pikachu, Ash finds himself feeling that perhaps Pikachu would be happier with his own kind.

Another three episodes in Viz?s painstakingly long release of Pokémon. There?s a fantastic Team Rocket parody though in the second episode that I laughed it. Brock continues to entertain whenever a Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny shows up. Simple pleasures.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears




Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Pokemon