Pokemon Vol. #26: Friends And Rivals - Mania.com

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  • 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

Pokemon Vol. #26: Friends And Rivals

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: January 16, 2001

Pokemon Vol. #26: Friends And Rivals
© Viz Media

What They Say
Elimination Rounds! Ash's first match is in the water arena! Can he win with Krabby, who has never fought in a Pokemon battle? Then, Team Rocket sets up a bogus Pokemon Center, and Ash has to defeat both Team Rocket and his Indigo League opponents! Ash can't wait to battle Gary, his Pallet Town rival, but first he has to beat an undefeated Bellsprout! Episodes 25-27.

The Review!
Ash has made it past the first four rounds of the Pokémon tournament, and everyone is celebrating. Ash meets another trainer, Richie, who feels the same way about Pokémon that he does. Except, what happens when the two have to battle?


For my viewing session, we?re only left with English audio. The mix is a simple stereo mix with little or no directionality with the front soundstage getting a large workout. The track sounds decent and there is no noticeable dropouts or distortions.


The video for the Pokémon DVD release still seems darkened and does affect the viewing experience. There?s no noticeable grain, but there seem to be small black spots that pop up occasionally. They were most likely present in the video master.


Pikachu is front and center in the Pokémon League stadium with Charizard and Charmander battling it out in the background. No volume is present, but the episode names are printed on the back cover. The back cover is stuffed with images of different Pokémon and Ash and Richie sharing a handshake.

Inside there is a holographic card featuring Psyduck, and an insert with all the chapters on the DVD.


When you insert the DVD, you immediately get an ad for the Pokémon series on VHS and DVD. Then the US opening plays, and then it goes into the episodes.

The menu is simple and allows you to select to start at the opening, the start of an episode or the ending credits. You can also turn on Closed Captioning. Very simplistic, but at least the choices are animated. No sound though.



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

Now that the first four qualifying rounds are over, there is one last qualifying round for Ash. This one takes place in the Pokémon League main stadium though. We start off with A Friend in Deed where Ash meets up with a trainer named Richie. After Team Rocket steals many of the competitors Pokéballs, the two of them go after Team Rocket together, building their friendship. Afterwards though, when the match ups for Round Five take place, the two are pitted against each other.

Friend and Foe Alike features the battle between the two young Pokémon trainers. Ash and Richie use similar style Pokémon, so the battle will be close. Lastly, in Friends to the End the Pokémon League Tournament comes to an end. With everything wrapping up, the two young trainers come to terms with their performance during the competition, and form a friendship and respectful rivalry.

This DVD ends the first arc of Pokémon, and Ash?s final battles in the tournament. Sportsmanship is the main stress point here. Even friends can compete against each other respectfully. You might not be able to win, but you can learn from what you did wrong to do better next time.

English Language

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


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