To pick up where the Pokemon "Advanced" Season left off, "Advanced Challenge" offers Pokemon fans more exciting adventures, featuring Ash, Pikachu, Brock, May, and Max! Plus, any DVD that features five episodes or more, in my book, is a winner. :)
Here are some comments and observations I had, regarding each of the episodes:
"Come What May!:" Team Rocket forgot to prepare themselves with electric-proof gear before Pikachu zapped them, this time around ... On many other occasions, they knew better, but not here! Amusing to see a joyful Jessie ready for her "close up" when Team Rocket "Blasts Off!" :) The rainbow special effects were pretty neat, even though they were produced by a device, not a Pokemon!
"Cheer Pressure:" Sheridan reminds me of Anthony from the Advanced episode, "You Said a Mouthful," when it comes to tricking the opponent! Max has a key role in this episode! Great scene featuring Ash and a weakened Pikachu taking on Seviper! Jessie and James dueling for the "spotlight," during the Team Rocket Motto, made for a humorous little scene! I also got a kick out of the cop-out line, "I'll send you a check!" :)
"Game Winning Assist:" May using Skitty's "Assist" to revive the Numel was a clever idea! Team Rocket's remarks about eating lots of ice cream and double cheeseburgers on "Easy Street" are classic, as was Brock's "You complete me" dialog to Julie! :)
"Fight for the Meteorite:" Jessie throwing a temper tantrum while attempting to use the cable car phone to call for help had me in stitches! Notice how Pikachu tries to keep quiet while using a Thunderbolt on Team Magma's machine! :) Also check out an awesome tackle from the Professor as he charges into the Commander of Team Magma!
"Poetry Commotion!:" Thank goodness for grandfathers in disguise! :) The bathroom/badge scene was a hoot! I got a kick out of Flannery's grandfather's line, "The Skitty's out of the bag!" Team Rocket's reaction to the grandfather spying on his own house, while in disguise, was amusing, as well. :) Flannery's voice sounds like like Shauna's, from the Advanced episode, "A Meditite Fight," although Flannery's voice sounds slightly more mature than Shauna's! Fortunately, there is always time for a sand bath!
There is only one negative point to this DVD (This includes all of the DVD volumes for this Season of Pokemon) ... Under the "Bonus Features" menu, both the opening and closing themes are featured, yet they are already featured within each of the individual episodes, so to feature the exact same thing again, in a bonus feature, is redundant. However, this sort of thing doesn't really bother me as it might other fans of the Pokemon series who expect more from bonus features, and it doesn't take away from my overall rating on this release ... I just had to mention this to upcoming purchasers of the Pokemon "Advanced Challenge" series who have high expectations upon checking out the bonus features. Fortunately, there is a positive point to the "Bonus Features" section, and this includes brief descriptions of a couple of the upcoming "Advanced Challenge" episodes from future DVD releases ... That was nice. :)
*Before I close, note that there are a couple of differences between the opening and closing themes of "Advanced Challenge" ... In the intro, there is footage of Drew and Roselia, but during the ending sequence, the footage is replaced by a shot of Professor Oak, Ash's Mother, and Tracy. Also, the tail-end of the closing theme features a far-off image of the heroes, with each character facing in a different direction. Usually, in Seasons past, the Pokemon ending themes are edited versions of the opening themes, but on this occasion, there are some subtle differences between the two! :)
In closing, I have to say that everyone who contributed in making the Pokemon episodes and the DVD sets did a fantastic job! :) Thanks for reading! God Bless...
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