With the release of the megahit mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go, as well as the upcoming release of the seventh generation (Sun and Moon) of the handheld games in November, I decided to marathon and re-evaluate the quality of the original anime series from the late 90s on Netflix. This year marks, after all, the twentieth anniversary of the influential franchise.
That said, what follows is a list of some of the best and worst episodes from the original eighty-two episode Indigo League season.
A sensational episode that is perfectly plotted from start to finish, continuing from a tense cliffhanger and ending on one of its own
"THE GHOST OF MAIDEN'S PEAK"
My personal favorite episode as a kid, creepy and poignant at the same time. The epitome of an entertaining standalone story
"ABRA AND THE PSYCHIC SHOWDOWN"
Intensely eerie episode with a great cliffhanger ending. The start of a memorable gym badge three-parter
"GO WEST, YOUNG MEOWTH"
The best episode from the last quarter of the original series. A surprisingly entertaining backstory that sheds new light on a so-so recurring villain
Episodes such as "Bye Bye Butterfree," "Pikachu's Goodbye," "The Legend of Dratini," and "Snow Way Out!," while tearjerkers, are not as good as these top-rated episodes when you consider the overall plot.
"BEACH BLANK-OUT BLASTOISE"
Everything between "The Problem with Paras" and "Volcanic Panic" is very entertaining. Then immediately we are treated to this sorry excuse of an episode. Very weak, uninspired plot that couldn't sustain ten minutes, let alone twenty
This episode is an inferior and unnecessary rehash of "Clefairy and the Moon Stone," which was one of the weaker earlier episodes to begin with. This is the third of a string of bad episodes following Cinnabar Island, when the series starts to weaken, and the fillers begin to feel like fillers, though not quite as atrocious as the quality of later seasons
"MAKE ROOM FOR GLOOM"
A boring, forgetful installment. Frankly, there was no reason at all to make another Gloom-centric episode. This one is the definition of pointless filler
This listing does take into account the internationally banned episodes. However, most of the banned episodes were not very good anyways, the exception perhaps being "The Legend of Dratini."