Pokemon Advanced Vol. #3: A Bite to Remember - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 14.99
  • Running time: 110
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Pokemon

Pokemon Advanced Vol. #3: A Bite to Remember

By Luis Cruz     September 29, 2004
Release Date: September 21, 2004


Pokemon Advanced Vol. #3: A Bite to Remember
© Viz Media


What They Say
A BITE TO REMEMBER
Max takes a particular liking to a Poochyena, but will he see it evolve before they move on?

THE LOTAD LOWDOWN
Team Rocket is on the hunt for the Lotad bunch in the lake. What will Brock and his quirky Lotad friend do to save the day?

ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFLY!
May gets an opportunity to assist n a glamourous Pokimon contest. Will she enter a contest herself one day?

Plus two bonus episodes: ALL IN A DAY'S WURMPLE and GONNA RULE THE SCHOOL!

The Review!
The journey finally takes our band of Pokémon adventurers to Rustboro City. Along the way, new friends are made.

Audio:
Featuring only an English audio track, this volume provides a simple but solid stereo track. There were no distortions, dropouts, or other problems. Everything comes through the center channel with no directional effects; action, dialogue, and music are balanced well providing an adequate experience.

Video:
The video provides an adequate experience; the transfer has no issues with artifacts, cross coloration, or print damage. While colorful, the picture feels flat and lacks much detail; it looks decent but there just is not much detail to catch the eye.

Packaging:
Beautifly and Lotad grace the front cover accompanied by a rather large series logo at the top. The volume number and title is at the bottom along with a sizable banner indicating that the disc contains two bonus episodes. The back cover features the requisite screenshots, episode synopses, and disc information. Also included on the back is the Pokédex entry for Beautifly.

Inside is a one page insert with the chapter listings and the Pokédex entry for Cacnea on one side. The opposite side contains only a brief advertisement for the Pokémon web site.

Menu:
The menus are very simple featuring only a static image and no background music. They are quick and functional but also quite boring; at the very least, they could have looped a piece of the theme song in the background.

Extras:
None

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It takes five more episodes, but Ash and the gang finally reach Rustboro City. Along the way, new friends are made, and everyone learns a valuable lesson. Our heroes start off the volume in a reserve for Pokémon; they come across a pack of Mightyenas and one lone Poochyena. The Poochyena is part of the pack but has yet to evolve like his brothers.

Max takes it upon himself to push the Poochyena to evolve. The rest of the gang attempt to teach Max that everyone, human or Pokémon, is unique and finds their own way in life. One should not force someone to be what they do not want to be. Their words fall on deaf ears, as Max continues to try to force the Poochyena to evolve.

Poochyena finally evolves after Team Rocket attempts to steal him and his friends, and Max learns that growth comes from a personal decision rather than by force.

One of the more amusing characters is Brock; the only thing that overshadows his love of rearing Pokémon is his desire to hit on every woman he comes across. His antics are generally amusing, and the next episode capitalizes on Brock's flirtations. The gang find themselves at a lake full of Lotad; near the lake is a flower shop tended by three sisters. Brock's charm fails on the older sisters but manages to captivate the youngest of the lot.

Brock is less than pleased by Natalie's crush but manages to be courteous to the young girl. After Team Rocket's interference, Brock finds himself with a Lotad for a companion and thanks Natalie for her list of berries to enhance the abilities of Pokémon.

The remainder of the volume sees May learn that Pokémon training can be fun, especially if you are training them for the Pokémon equivalent of a dog show. This revelation causes May to try to capture the first Wurmple she sees; even though she runs into those meddling Team Rocket members, she succeeds in capturing the Wurmple and dreams of evolving it into a beautiful Beautifly. Meanwhile, Ash and Pikachu work on the "Iron Tail" attack since they learned that the Rustboro Gym Pokémon are all rock types.

In the final episode of the volume, the gang finally arrives at Rustboro City, but the gym battle must wait. Max has roped the gang into checking out the local Pokémon Academy. That's right; there is a whole school dedicated to learning about the creatures. Apparently, reading and writing is meaningless in a world of Pokémon. The best moment of the entire volume comes when Ash continues to say "But my gym battle..." as they are shown about the campus. He echoes the sentiment that the audience must surely be feeling; give us a real battle already.

Team Rocket interferes again but is swiftly defeated as the youngest of the students and Max work together to send Team Rocket blasting off again. While I will never be a fan of the series, it does have some items that make it palatable to watch. There are some sight gags that manage to provide a chuckle in every episode; the show does attempt to teach some moral lessons. However, the obvious bent towards marketing the merchandise tends to overshadow these lessons.

In Summary:
This volume features the usual Pokémon hijinks including some funny sight gags and decent moral lessons. The best part is that the gang has arrived at Rustboro City which means we should finally see a proper battle. Brock and Team Rocket continue to grow on me as characters; they provide the bulk of the better comedic bits. While it will never be something I completely enjoy, mainly due to the blatant marketing aspects, it is enjoyable enough to pass the time with. If you are a fan of the series, this volume makes a decent addition to your library.

Features
English 2.0 Language

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable


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