I don't think I've talked about the music in non-MSG Pokemon yet but after a very long day in the office yesterday where I listened to a lot of music to help me through a very long and tedious string of tasks, I'm gonna.
So here's a bunch of my favourite tracks from the anime and movies.
The original, iconic classic - it's just such a banger. It's got such an enduring appeal, likely because it's just such an enduring, optimistic track. I'm not of an age where I watched cartoons or children's shows in the 80s or early 90s so I can't say for sure but I suspect the popularity and quality of Pokemon's theme tune was partly what spurred so many other shows to go so hard on their own theme tunes. The sheer amount of compilation videos of 90s/00s cartoon theme tunes attests to this: it was a high point for kid's TV.
One of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I've ever heard. Even today, it stirs a whole host of emotions in me. It's dramatic, melodic, soaring, and sad. Frankly, it still brings me to the verge of tears. It's a song that legitimately inspires me. And all the more surprising is that it's not the Japanese original!
Lugia's song again. I've always loved this moment; they did not need to go so hard on the guitar riff, but I love that they did.
Not my favourite but an enduringly iconic one I remember from years back and find myself humming every so often. It's just so joyous and full of optimism, and sums up the Johto region perfectly: it is indeed a whole new place, with a brand new attitude. It's so distinct from Kanto; wild and unknown and full of mystery - and, of course, interesting and mysterious new Pokemon.
Another inspiring and blood-pumping song. I love this as one of the trailer tracks for Pokemon the Movie 2000, but also as a full-length song on its own. Early Pokemon has such a disco vibe to it (indeed, as a British child I can confirm that they often did in fact play the Jason Paige Pokemon theme at school discos) and this is an exemplar.
Genuinely such a fantastic song, both as a season theme song and in its own right. The opening sequence that accompanies this is fantastic and fits it so well, but the full-length version of the song is so satisfying. It's the perfect tune for Ash as he was in the Advanced Battle anime - more assured, more skillful, ready to take on elite trainers. And it's another inspiring song that features another joyous guitar riff.
Possibly the best season theme song ever. I've always loved Walk Off The Earth (I saw them live a few years ago and it was an incredible show) so them doing a Pokemon theme is the best thing ever. The full-length song, with its accompanying music video, encapsulates Journeys' vibe so brilliantly; it makes it seem fun and dazzling and epic and expansive all in one fell swoop, and puts a great emphasis on Ash and Goh's friendship.