Pokemon Vol. #49: The Squirtle Squad - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • 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

Pokemon Vol. #49: The Squirtle Squad

By Andrew Tei     September 14, 2003
Release Date: January 29, 2002



What They Say
The Squirtle Squad - Squirtle's old gang - have shown up foria fire-fighting competition, but theiopponents are fierce andionly Squirtle's leadership can keep theigroup together! Then,ia beautiful Wooper-preschool teacher isicalled away, so Brock offers his, Ash's andiMisty's servicesito watch theiwayward Wooper andikeep them out of trouble. Of course, there's always trouble when Team Rocket isiaround - but will Team Rocket ever be theisame after Jessie andiJames replace Meowth andiSnubbull?!

The Review!
Some old friends return in another volume of Pokémon.

Audio:

This English language only release comes with a basic stereo mix that has all sound directed towards the front sound stage. Dialogue and sound are clear though.

Video:

Pioneer authored another great volume of Pokémon here, as I hardly noticed any mpeg artifacts. There was a tiny bit of macro blocking in some cave backgrounds, but it was barely part of the plot. No noticeable line shimmering or cross coloration.

Packaging:

After being good boys for five DVDs in a row, this volume of Pokémon doesn’t have a volume number on the security tag. Sigh. Just when I thought they had turned things around. Why can’t children’s titles have volume numbers? The front cover features the scenes from the first episode on this volume, focusing on Squirtle, the Squirtle Squad, and Team Wartortle. I find the cover a bit too cluttered. On the spine, we just have the name for this volume, The Squirtle Squad. Wooper is featured on the back with statistics, and there’s a picture of Snubble and Jigglypuff fighting over Jigglypuff’s microphone. The chapter insert features Jigglepuff and some Onyx, and the DVD has a great picture of the Squirtle Squad on it. The bonus item in the DVD is a static cling on of Gligar.

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. The same as always.

Extras:

None.

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

Let the competition begin!

The Fire-ing Squad features some Wartortles from an Orange Island episode returning. Team Wartortle is a team of firefighting Wartortles that’s competing in an annual Firefighting Pokémon tournament. In addition, we also have the Squirtle Squad returning from a season one episode. They were a group of Squirtles who were delinquent until they became the town’s fire fighting squad. Ash’s Squirtle came from this group. Nervousness sets in for the Squirtle Squad as this is their first competition. Ash enters the competition also, but loses in the first round. The Squirtle Squad is in desperate need of a leader, so Ash's Squirtle heads over to help them out.

After a wet and slimy Wooper falls onto Brock’s neck, the gang discovers a preschool for Wooper in No Big Woop!. Wooper are the pre-evolved form of Quagsire. After the teacher for the school, Alicia, gets called away due to her mother getting injured, the gang volunteers to take care of all the Wooper while she goes home. All thanks to Brock for volunteering the group to take care of them for Alicia. For an experienced Pokémon breeder, this should be easy right? These Wooper all act like preschoolers though, so they can be quite a handful. Then they lose Alicia’s favorite Wooper, and Brock completely falls to pieces. Ash, Misty, and Pikachu have to chase after the Wooper, who proves to be a handful just by himself.

In order to get to the next town, the gang has to travel through the Onyx Tunnel in Tunnel Vision. It’s goes through a mountain, but is inhabited by numerous Onyx. Water Pokémon are useful for protecting yourself in there, and Team Rocket doesn’t have any to help them, so they go after Misty’s water Pokémon. The Snubble from a rich lady is also wandering the forest, when Jigglypuff starts to perform. What follows is a bunch of misadventures by everyone. There is absolutely no cohesion in this episode, as the episode’s antics seem completely random.

This volume started our really well with two previous episodes coming together to form a new episode. I really liked seeing the Squirtle Squad return, and the event at the end of the episode is part of the overall grand plot. Unfortunately, the other two episodes aren’t very entertaining at all. They are aimed squarely at kids, and have a lot of childish antics.

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

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