Ash and his friends depart for the Orange Islands! While the may leave some old friends behind and meet new friends, Ash and Pikachu continue their wild adventures on Ash's quest to become a Pokemon Master! Contains four volumes, 12 episodes on one disc for $24.98. That's four hours of Pokemon -- a great value!!
These 12 episodes from the second broadcast season (nos. 228-239 in the overall continuity) help to bridge the events of the first season, which took aspiring trainer Ash Ketcham from his Pallet Town home to the Pokémon League championships, and the later "Johto Journeys" story line. Professor Oak sends Ash, Misty, and Brock to the Orange Islands to collect a mysterious Pokéball found by fellow researcher Professor Ivy. When they reach her lab, Brock decides to stay with the Professor and her three female assistants. Ash and Misty are soon joined by Tracey, a "Pokémon Watcher" in training who sketches. After the perpetually amorous Brock, he makes a rather bland companion. Although the archipelago boasts a string of gyms, Ash wins only one badge, the Coral Eye.
There's little sense of a narrative thread to these stories as the characters wander aimlessly from island to island. They escape the snares of the inept Team Rocket (Jessy, James, and Meowth), who stalk them in a submarine disguised as a giant Magicarp. In the weird "Stage Fright," a traveling troupe uses Pokémon as puppets, but Kay is having trouble with her Raichu: she can't get it to follow when she recites "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." (They don't consider the possibility that Raichu, like generations of English students, may be bored by the poem.) The Pokémon craze peaked long ago, but the series remains a harmless, if repetitious diversion for smaller children. (Suitable for all ages: minor cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon