Pokemon Vol. #39: A Brand New World (Mania.com)

By:Andrew Tei
Review Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2001



What They Say
Brock rejoins Ash and Misty to explore the brand-new world of Johto! New towns, new people, an best of all, new Pokemon! But all is not well in Johto! A Totodile is kidnapped before it can become the partner of a young trainer--it looks like Team Rocket has struck again! Can Ash and his friends get it back? Then, Ash and Pikachu must show a young baseball fanatic what being a Pokemon trainer is all about. And, why are the Heracross destroying the forest? Ash and his friends have to solve the mystery before the forest disappears! "The Johto Journeys" series, episodes 1-3

The Review!
A whole new adventure begins as Brock rejoins Ash and Misty on Ash?s journey to the Johto League. We also get introduced to the Pokémon from Pokémon: Gold and Pokémon Silver Gameboy games.

Audio:

Viz and Pioneer?s home video rights only include the English language version, so that?s what we?re stuck with. It?s a basic stereo mix with all sound directed towards the front sound stage. Dialgoue is very clear, and there were no distortions or problems in the sound levels.

Video:

The Gold and Silver Pokémon DVDs are much better in terms of video quality compared to the first two seasons of Pokémon. No scratches could be seen in the print, and no compression related artifacts were present.

Packaging:

A Brand New World comes in a gold keep case and the front cover is covered in a golden shine. Four new Pokémon adorn the front cover. There?s no spine number as usual, but the three episodes present on the DVD are listed on the back. Stats for a Heracross are also listed on the back. Inside, there was a limited edition Motion card featuring a bunch of Gyrados and an insert showing the chapter stops available.

Menu:

A simple one-menu system gives you access to about everything you need to change. You can select the opening credits, one of the three episodes, or ending credits. As you move the selection icon, an image on the Pokédex changes to match. There?s also an option to head to the English captions submenu. Closed captioning is provided as DVD subtitles.

Extras:

None.

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

We start off the Johto League, with Brock back in tow! The leering can begin again!

Don?t Touch that ?dilestarts off with our gang heading to New Bark Town so that Ash can register with the Johto Pokémon League. On the way, Pikachu and Togépi run off, and they discover a mysterious blue Pokémon glowing in the middle of a pool of water. Team Rocket gets near New Bark Town first, and finds a Totodile at Professor Elm?s lab. The Totodile is meant for a new Pokemon trainer, but Team Rocket steals it. When the gang arrives at Professor Elm?s lab, they team up with Officer Jenny to get the offenders.

Next up, we have The Double Trouble Header where the gang find a new Pokémon trainer, Casey, doing some training. Casey challenges Ash to a battle, but she is no match as Ash brings out Charizard. Kind of unfair against a new trainer, and Charizard easily defeats all of Casey?s Pokémon. After some teasing by Ash, she runs away. Team Rocket convinces her that Ash was cheating, so while she fights Ash again, Team Rocket can steal their Pokémon.

Last up, there?s A Sappy Ending as the gang continues on their journey to Violet City which has the first Johto League Gym, they find some new Pokémon called Heracross. When Ash goes to catch one, they are stopped, and it is explained that the Heracross are part of the natural ecosystem in the forest and shouldn?t be disturbed. Soon, a group of Pinsir Pokémon come and attacks the Heracross in order to drive them from the forest. Normally the two Pokémon live in separate forests, so the gang goes to investigate why.

Well, it?s the start of a whole new adventure as we set up a whole new season. Ash even gets a new Pokémon, and the Casey episode is hilarious, especially if you?re a Cubs fan. Defnitely a good DVD for Pokémon collectors.

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: 70
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Pokemon