So the first episode of the “Episode N” arc of the Pokémon anime premiered in the US yesterday.
I pretty much never thought anything like this would ever happen. The Black/White based anime has been running since 2010 and seemed to totally ignore the storyline of the actual Black/White games from the very beginning.
The first 20 episodes were buildup to a 2 part special in which Team Rocket was supposed to fight Team Plasma, but those episodes went permanently unaired due to the Sendai earthquake, and even as big a deal as those episodes were supposed to be, removing them seemed to make no impact on the actual plot of the series.
I personally figured that Team Plasma has been permanently removed from the anime universe similar to Porygon after an episode featuring Porgyon episode caused seizures in the 90’s (even though it was actually Pikachu that caused the seizures).
And even if the Rocket Vs. Plasma episodes did air, it didn’t seem like they were even going to mention N in those episodes, or even try to tie the anime in to the plot of the games .
I believe “The Name’s N” is the 116th episode of the Black/White series. If the animators tried to even vaguely mirror the plot of the games, N could have appeared as soon as Episode 3.
So finally, years later N pretty much appears out of nowhere for an arc that seems like it will involve Team Plasma in the context of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
I was always curious as to how the TV writers would handle N if he hypothetically ever appeared in the anime, so actually getting to see it after years of assuming he would remain exclusive to the games and manga, seeing N talking to Ash, Jessie, James, and the other characters is almost surreal to me.
N’s voice was a lot deeper than I was expecting (reading his text in the games I almost imagined his voice sounding like Sterling Halloway), but it has a really weird roughness to it and it sounds like he’s constantly whispering, and I think it worked really well.
A small amount of his extreme views peeked through when Ash mentioned that he wanted to become a Pokémon master, but N himself squashed it. I wonder how far the writers will go and if N will actually be revealed as the “King” of Team Plasma.
I especially liked that N actually tells off Team Plasma and confronts Meowth. This was basically one of main things I was wondering if the writers would ever address if Meowth appeared in the anime, so I was pleased by this.
Overall I was pleased with the long awaited and most unexpectedly debut of this character in the anime and will be tuning in the Cartoon Network next week to see what comes next.
The episode basically plays N off as though he’s just another “character of the day” or a new occasionally recurring character like Barry or Nando from the Diamond/Pearl arc.
N doesn’t even “join ash’s party” or anything, he gets off the boat at Castelia City and Ash continues on to West Unova.
Team Plasma wasn’t even mentioned.
So that’s all.
I wrote all of this I barely 10 minutes. Gosh.