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Old 10-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
Talon87
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"The Fall of Pokémon" - a look back at 2000

While UPN was down today, I stumbled upon this fossil from 2000.

Most of you probably weren't big into Pokémon when this was first written. Hell, half of you reading this probably weren't even 5 years old yet when this was written. But back in the day, a Nostradamian article such as this made a lot of sense. And the fun thing for us in 2011 is that it still makes a lot of sense -- in specific places. Sure, it makes some claims that have been proven to be false in the extreme. The article's closing line is clearly intended to be melodramatic -- "There will be no third movie, no Pokemon Stadium Gold/Silver...watch yourselves, Nintendo" -- but it just ends up making me chuckle because of how wrong it turned out to be.

But the article makes some really valid points about KidsWB's foibles in the early years of airing Pokémon. Anyone who's old enough will certainly remember many of the theme weeks the author writes about here. A personal favorite of mine, i.e. one I never tire of ridiculing , was the Lou Bega week where they gave us two of the best and most fan-demanded episodes of all time, "Snow Way Out!" and "Holiday Hi-Jynx!", but hysterically coupled them with Lou Bega, the one-hit wonder who gave us such memorable classics as Mambo No.5 and ... Mambo No.5 and ... Mambo No.5. Leave it to Youtube to back me up on this -- CLICK HERE to check out "Lou Bega's Snow Jam." hahahahahahahahaha SO BAD. XD Okay, sorry, I digress. Back to the point: KidsWB would starve us on episodes and then just drown us in them. They knew absolutely no self-control. They had zero capability of just airing one new episode a week. It was always shit like "no new episode, no new episode, no new episode ... THREE NEW EPISODES THIS WEEK! " The math may average out to about one new episode a week, sure, but when the name of the game is viewer retention, then you need to have a reliable schedule or else you're going to lose people.

And for all you children in the audience who always hear us vets talk about "the good ol' days" with the Jaxel UPN ... for those of you who hear us weave these legends about how once upon a time the UPNetwork was one of the biggest Pokemon sites around, a Serebii for its time ... all you gotta do is check out the second-to-last paragraph to get a little taste of what things used to be like.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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I was 2 years old and very much into pokemon when this was written =p

Can't comment on the article that much. In India, it aired fairly routinely iirc. But seriously, though? KidsWB seems reaaally stupid. o-O I love the predictions it made and now Pokemon is into its fifth generation and STILL going strong. =D

If UPN was the Serebii of its time, then I'd rather not have been here at the time ;)
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:34 AM   #3
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Oh god...I remember those themes.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:53 AM   #4
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Holy god the amount of nostalgia emanating from this thread is going to kill me

Holy fuck

FUCK

I remember being on UPN when they took the clips down. Being only ten years old, I didn't understand it or what was going on. I also never read that article, but if I had, I wouldn't have understood a single thing. What a well written piece. Thankfully, he was wrong. I'd be very interested to know the author's opinion on everything looking back now, and what Pokemon's future holds.

Also, fucking Lou Bega and his Pokemon promos.
Fucking. Lou. Bega.

Last edited by deoxys; 10-19-2011 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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I was too busy playing Pokemon Stadium with my friends for endless hours to notice any of this going on, considering I was in the UK. I do remember CITV airing new episodes, out of order for the most part, daily. Not to mention the fact the trading card game was still huge inside and outside of playgrounds and there was plenty to keep us occupied at the time this was written adds to how amusing the article is. C'=
I'd have been about 6 or 7 looking at it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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Baaaad memories. Bad. Theme weeks = bad. Badbadbad.

I didn't know about the Lou Bega thing, though o.O I guess I was too young to really understand who he was at the time.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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Those theme weeks and months without new episodes... >_<

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The Natsume/Sabrina battle was re-runned to death.

(such as why Lizardon wouldn't obey Satoshi in the movie but does in the TV series)
God dammit! Weeaboo before the term existed???

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The only new thing pokemon fans were getting was Pokemon Stadium (Pokemon Stadium 2 in Japan), and that was just the Game Boy game minus all the fun of catching the pokemon. Sure, the game sold very well, but Pokemon Stadium's the kind of game you lose interest with after about ten minutes.
What. No! Also you could catch PKMN in the comfort of your own couch thanks to the handy built-in emulators! Why am I replying to someone 11 years in the past?

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Pokemon was being beaten by Digimon, Cartoon Network's the Rising Sun...shoot, even Mickey Mouse (on ABC) was beating Pokemon!
*looks at archive of PKMN ratings* Mine only go back to 2002 but it would still lead at least WBs lineup more often than not. Its true they did screw it up royally with the messed up way they aired the series. Airing a new episode every week would never happen in america but squeezing 52 eps into 7~ months shouldn't have been so difficult. Also reruns of popular series get pretty darn high ratings no matter how rerun into the ground they are.

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Then explain this action: they forced UPNetwork to remove their video clips. Apparently, their video sales were dropping.
Was this the case for other huge well known sites that had 'em? Its called protecting their copyright in the most ass way possible. Even in the current era companies that "don't get it" still do the same >_>;




I believe it is up to us (and by us I mean Talon) to write an ultra super sensationalist article on the state of PKMN and its future which we can all dig up look back on and giggle at in the future ^.^
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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What's really funny is Dogasu has been a news war-horse since 2000 but I had never even heard of him until long after I left BMG.

His points are valid BUT we have to remember that KidsWB! didn't really think the re-run thing would be a big deal. Pokemon was already running re-runs ad nauseum on Buena Vista for half a year before Kids WB! got the rights to air the show, and the re-runs didn't do anything to taper the popularity then.

But the situation was...those early episodes were fundamental in showing how Ash's journey began, and his early character growth, so people could relive his early triumphs or join with him the first time. Each episode was a distinct and memorable adventure, in sharp contrast to the generic beach fronts and jungles that made up the Orange Island episode. In fact, the one episode I distinctly remember of the Orange Islands was because how generic it was - the one where Ash helps this Tauros guy cross a desert and the dude meekly asks Ash if he'd like to be his son help him do this for a living.

KidsWB! used to have a 1/episode weekend format with reruns during the week, but they probably didn't account for reruns deeper into the story locking newbies out of assimilating and boring the older fans.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:04 PM   #9
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I believe it is up to us (and by us I mean Talon) to write an ultra super sensationalist article on the state of PKMN and its future which we can all dig up look back on and giggle at in the future ^.^
I could try. That'd be really hard though. We've come such a long way, the article would have to have such an international focus (as opposed to a strictly American one) since I haven't been following Pokemon on American TV America since 2001 (mid-Season 4, somewhere a little after Episode 200) and actually quit watching Pokémon altogether around that point, not returning to watching it until some time circa 2009/2010, ................ but I could try.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:23 AM   #10
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I also quit watching Pokemon after the voice actors were all changed, right around the middle of Hoenn. I tried to watch some of D/P, but I couldn't get into it, and I'm still not a fan of the fact that Ash keeps getting a new flavor of the month who isn't Misty.

Recently picked back up into Black and White, and it's not bad. It's pretty reminiscent of the first season of Pokemon, which is what I guess they were aiming for, so props to them for that, but it's still lacking some. I dunno.

On topic, Talon, I would very much enjoy reading an analysis on the current state of Pokemon and it's future by you if you were up to the challenge or had the free time to do it. You seem to point out a lot of valid things and I think it would make for an interesting discussion.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Oh man I still have a CD with all those video clips I downloaded from UPN back in the day. I highly doubt I could play any of them now though. Accursed Real Media! I used to hate that format, but EVERYONE used it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:35 PM   #12
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Oh man I still have a CD with all those video clips I downloaded from UPN back in the day. I highly doubt I could play any of them now though. Accursed Real Media! I used to hate that format, but EVERYONE used it.
You should zip them up and link us for great justice.

I know they're simple clips, but the nostalgia factor would be heart attack worthy. I'm sure we'd figure out a way to play them again.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:48 AM   #13
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The ones on my UPN? I'm pretty sure I have them around somewhere. >_>
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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On Dogasu, I follow the site enough to know his opinion has completely changed since that article ten years ago. A quote from one of the DP Movie's Japanese box office success springs to mind, "... not bad for a 'dead franchise'". It's quite amusing he branded it as such himself.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #15
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I got them from the Jaxel UPN. :<

I also only saved the Japanese clips since I didn't see much point in having copies of the same stuff I saw on TV every day. LITTLE DID I KNOW. I guess Youtube can come to the rescue?

Woa, yes it can!
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:38 AM   #16
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In case you've been living under a cave lately, Pokemon's popularity is dropping quickly.
Woah woah woah, I don't remember that at all. Pokemon was still huge in 2000, at least where I was. Maybe it's just because I didn't follow the show religiously, but I was- quick math- 11 or 12 at the time, and I'm pretty sure I still had daily link-cable battles under the tables at lunch.

This is so fun to read.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:42 PM   #17
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Kind of an ironic coincidence, but just recently Dogasu posted another possible "fall of Pokemon" article in January, about the new game/anime Yokai Watch surpassing Pokemon in game sales and anime ratings.

Scroll down its the article dated Jan 7th:

http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/index.html

While the Pokemon games will likely go on forever, it is interesting to note the anime currently has its lowest ratings ever in Japan. The XY series only has ratings around 4.5-5.0 (you can see a full list of ratings at animenewsnetwork), and the attempt to boost the ratings after Best Wishes tanked the show hasn't helped. There is speculation Serena's crush on Ash was only done as a ratings ploy to get more people to watch, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Its rather interesting that the anime can no longer pull high ratings with kids like it used to even as late as when the DP era was airing. I wonder if this might lead to the anime finally ending or Ash's story being concluded with a "reboot" with the Gen 7 cast as the new lead?

The anime is going to hit its 20th anniversary by the time the XY series ends, I wonder if that combined with the low ratings will lead to Ash's story finally concluding. We can only hope.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:07 AM   #18
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Except for the fact that every series gets a lower rating then the previous one. This has nothing to do with popularity, thanks to the Internet, people can watch new episodes as they please whenever they want without having to wait for reruns on TV. The ratings don't mean anything, as long as the games continue to sell, there will always be an anime series featuring Ash.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:41 AM   #19
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Assuming ratings are just how many people are watching, then they do matter. They matter a lot because they reflect how many children, the target audience, are watching. I can assure you, no one younger than 13 or so is watching Pokemon via the Internet. If they continue to drop, it shows that the newer generations are losing interest in Pokemon. If the games keep selling, but the anime ratings start to plummet because children aren't watching, then I wouldn't say a revamp is completely out of question. Highly unlikely though? Definitely. I don't know what the situation is in Japan, but the anime is a definite factor in getting kids interested enough to beg their parents to buy the games. If it's not getting watched, then it isn't doing its job, so change would need to happen to fix that.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:21 AM   #20
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I wish the Dogasu article had a direct link, but unfortunately it doesn't look like his site works that way anymore. Here's the best I've got for right now: a link to the January 2015 archive. Seeing as he only has three articles from January 2015, it's fairly easy to locate the Youkai Watch article by following that link.

I had never heard of Youkai Watch before several months ago. Like a lot of adults in the West, I guess. It was because of ORAS that I first learned of Youkai Watch: people were eager to compare the two franchises and to place bets as to whether ORAS could competitively outsell the Summer 2014 Youkai Watch games or not. I read comments on Imgur, Reddit, Twitter, and so on that indicated that Pokémon's days in the sun were gone and it was now the Age of Youkai Watch.

But I've got several problems with all of the doom and gloom surrounding Pokémon.

First, when asked why he loved Youkai Watch so much, one Japanese child answered that it was because adults don't: “Yo-Kai watch doesn’t have annoying adult fans like Pokémon does.” The problem is, this kid is going to get fucked from one or even two different directions:
  1. If Youkai Watch has genuine, mass-market appeal, then the only reason adults don't "like it" currently is because they don't even know about it. As the show and games come out internationally and as more and more adults in Japan discover that Youkai Watch is a thing, it's hard to imagine that, if the franchise is good for all ages, that adults won't be (from this child's POV) polluting the fandom the way that they do the Pokémon fandom. Video game and TCG tournaments dominated by adults. Internet discussions dominated by adults. All the best sales gobbled up by ravenous adults.
  2. Even if Youkai Watch doesn't have genuine, mass-market appeal and is pretty much only going to be popular with kids, that doesn't change the fact that Pokémon was much the same way -- and that an emotionally-attached fan base of children inevitably becomes an emotionally-attached fan base of adults in just ten years' time.
So if kids are only liking Youkai Watch because stinky adults don't, that's not a good enough reason to expect Youkai Watch to topple Pokémon. It is, however, a good enough reason to be concerned about the future of the main series Pokémon games: will Game Freak react to this trend by regressing back to RBY-era standards of game design and plot? Or will they only further continue to make the latest games adult-friendly? We'll have to see.

Second, Youkai Watch appears to be deeply rooted in Japanese folklore. Pokémon isn't. Sure, Pokémon has some creatures or locations that are based on Japanese folklore, from the kuchi onna Mawile to the yuki onna Froslass, but by and large Pokémon is internationally accessible with its electric rabbit-mouse, its fiery salamander, and its potted plant dinofrog. For the very same reason that the game is such a hit with its home market, I can imagine Youkai Watch being a lackluster title abroad. Unless the gameplay or story are smoking hot -- and nothing yet has indicated to me that either is the case -- then I really don't see why American kids would be interested. They didn't exactly bust down the doors for Pokémon Conquest (requires more interest in Japan to appreciate) but they sure did love the Mystery Dungeon series (requires less interest in Japan to appreciate).

Third, we have yet to see where Youkai Watch winds up once the fad wears off. Pokémon's fad phase in the West ran from roughly 1998 to 2002. By 2003, the only people left still playing Pokémon games were the diehard fans: us. The franchise has still continued to do well despite its fad phase coming to a close -- it's eclipsed even Mario at this point as far as new game sales are concerned, making Pokémon one of the most important franchises to Nintendo -- but the same can't yet be said for Youkai Watch. Where will Youkai Watch be in 2016? Where will it be in 2020? We simply don't know yet. It could be amazing and be around for years and years and years. Or it could be all but forgotten as the kids move on to new distractions. (Especially if, as that one Japanese kid indicated, a big part of the reason they love it so much more than Pokémon is that we don't. If we start loving it over the next few years, then it's safe to assume the kids will be driven away to the next adults-don't-know-about-it craze.)

I'll be interested to give Youkai Watch a look. Maybe I'll check out some of the anime episodes. Maybe I'll play demos of the game at kiosks when it's released over here. But I think it's way too premature to be dooming and glooming about Pokémon. Like the RocketNews and Dogasu articles both indicate, Youkai Watch is simply the new kid in school. It's the Buzz Lightyear to Pokémon's Woody. There's no reason we can't have both Woody and Buzz. Nor is there any reason to doubt that Woody might not see a resurgence in popularity after all of the excitement surrounding Buzz goes away.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:15 PM   #21
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I think the point is that kids are choosing Yokai Watch over Pokemon, meanwhile the people buying Pokemon games are adults. They made the point that Pokemon is nearly 20 years old now, so most of the people still following the franchise is "us" the original kid/teen audience from 1998 who are now grown up adults and follow the franchise.

Meanwhile new younger kids the actual target audience (kids 5-11), are not getting into Pokemon as much as they used to. Pokemon has gone on so long that its become a franchise that adults follow it (as we were the original kids grown up) while new younger kids are moving on.

In any case the Pokemon games will go on forever, ORAS sales being extremely high says a lot even for a remake. But I honestly wonder if the anime's time, or at least Ash's story, is finally going to draw to a close. The writers have already been experimenting with tons of specials that don't have Ash in it, and most people were let down by Ash's loss to Tobias in the Sinnoh league and his "reboot" in Best Wishes. The XY anime making Ash competent and mature again with a girl crushing on him is basically the writers doing the exact opposite they did back in BW.

I still enjoy watching the anime, but I would much prefer to see Ash's story end in my lifetime rather than see him go on yet another 10 years in an endless cycle. 20 years is a good enough time to wrap up Ash, and maybe reboot the anime with the Gen 7 male lead next time to see what happens.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:28 PM   #22
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Yeah they should have retired Ash many years ago. They probably will not, but they really should have.

Maybe kill off him and Pikachu in a series finale and get a new series entirely. I'd watch the hell out of that.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:57 AM   #23
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I think the reason folk were upset at Ash's loss to Tobias is because Tobias was a fucking cheating cunt who represents everything a Marty Stu does, down to having more than one legendary.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:50 AM   #24
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Yeah Pokemon as a franchise isn't going to die for a while, but the anime turned to complete and utter shit in Gen V, and Ash needs to go.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:06 AM   #25
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Yeah I happen to like Ash and think it's fine for him to stay, one, the Japanese fans still want him to stay, which is why TRio are still here, two, getting a new protagonist solves nothing. You'll still get endless failed tourneys, a Pikachu as a starter, badge quests, etc. The anime writers are also severely limited in what they can do by TPCJ, so they're not going to make some masterpiece or anything of the sorts. But even then, I still find some enjoyment in it.

But hey what do I know, it's not like my opinion means anything against hundreds of, "lol Ash sucks" posts.
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