Pokemon Vol. #44: Fire Power (Mania.com)

By:Andrew Tei
Review Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2001



What They Say
Misty becomes the babysitter for a crybaby Marill, but its cry is more dangerous than most Pokemon's attacks! And, Togepi teams up with a wayward Sentret to take control of team Rocket's latest invention: the Arbo-Tank. Do Ash, Misty and Brock have a chance against an armored Togepi? Next, Ash and his friends arrive at the ancient home of the Charizard, but can Ash's Charizard be admitted into the company of such high-level Pokemon? And if it can, does that mean Ash has to say good-bye to his old friend? "The Johto Journeys" series, episodes 16-18.

The Review!
Ash and Charizard reach a crossroads in their journey together on the next volume of Pokémon.

Audio:

Another very clear English language presentation is presented with this volume. It?s a basic stereo mix with all sound directed to the front sound stage. No distortions or dropouts are present in the sound track.

Video:

The video quality on this DVD continues the quality of the previous volumes. Colors are bright, and the animation is simple. Except for a little bit of line shimmering the compression on this DVD was fine.

Packaging:

Pikachu rides a flaming Charizard on the front cover for the silver keep case for this Johto League volume. The third episode on this DVD provides the focus for this cover. On the back, we have a large Marill and a statistics for a Sentret. Episode names are listed on the back, and there?s small short one or two line description for each episode. The top security tag had a volume number of 44 on it. Inside, there?s an insert with a crying Marill, and a holocard featuring Pikachu shocking Meowth.

Menu:

The menu is very simple selection screen featuring a Pokédex. You can start from the opening, the beginning of one of the episodes, or the end credits. The menu is static and has no audio. Pioneer continues to use the exact same menu design.

Extras:

None.

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

Ash got his Zephyr badge, his first in the Johto league, in the previous episode, so now it?s off to the Azalea Gym.

We start our next adventure with For Cryin? Out Loud!. Ash, Brock, and Misty are wandering around when they encounter a Marill with a box on its tail. It may be cute, but it?s also a complete cry baby, and gets scared at the smallest things. Misty tries to toughen it up, but Team Rocket interferes, and Misty, Marill, and Pikachu fall into a river and float away. Now it?s up to Misty to protect the Marill, and also try to get it back to its real owner.

In our second episode, Togepi gets into a wild, runaway adventure in Tanks a Lot! Team Rocket?s latest scheme involves a new tank, called the Arbotank since it looks like an Arboch. Team Rocket leaves the tank for bit, but they don?t notice that Togepi and Sentret, while playing, wander into the tank and drive it away! Team Rocket, Misty, Ash, and Brock work together to rescue Togepi, and get the tank back. Even after they rescue Togepi, the tank still goes on a joyride through the countryside, but the gang needs to stop it before it rampages into a city!

Charizard?s Burning Ambitions begins with the group discussing Ash?s Charizard, and how it?s unfair that he uses it so much to win battles. A nearby trainer named, Lisa, overhears the group. She happens to be a Charizard trainer, and tells them they are near the Charicific Valley, a place where wild Charizard roam. Except, the wild Charizard here consider Ash?s Charizard a weakling, and kick him out of the valley. Charizard lacks the spirit to improve himself, and only a trial by water will prove his determination.

This DVD is a mixed barrel of episodes. The first episode is just painful with the crying Marill. Luckily the second episode picks up a bit, though it is still 100% filler. We end with a bang though in the third episode, as it a major turning point for both Ash and Charizard.

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