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Anime / Pokémon the Series: Black & White

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Pokémon the Series: Black & White (ポケットモンスターベストウイッシュ Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!) is the fourth Pokémon anime series that ran from 2010 to 2013 in Japan and from 2011 to 2013 in America. This region has Ash going through Unova to take part in the Unova League. Iris, a young Dragon type user and Cilan, the Grass type Striaton City Gym Leader, are his companions.

English dub:

  • Season 14: Black & White (Episodes 1-48)
  • Season 15: Black & White: Rival Destinies (Episodes 49-97)
  • Season 16 (Part 1): Black & White: Adventures in Unova (Episodes 98-122)
  • Season 16 (Part 2): Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond (Episodes 123-142)

Japanese version:

  • Best Wishes! (Episodes 1-84)
  • Best Wishes! Season 2 (Episodes 85-108)
  • Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N (Episodes 109-122)
  • Best Wishes! Season 2 Da! (Decolora Adventure) (Episodes 123-142)


  • Mewtwo Movie Prologue
  • Cilan and Iris After Unova (Episodes 1-2)

This series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to B 
  • Aborted Arc: In this case, an aborted conclusion to a near-finished arc. The subplot with Team Rocket and the "Meteonite", a space rock with special destructive powers, is built up for several episodes and just as the epic two-part conclusion to this subplot is about to air, an earthquake devastates Japan and the episodes are pulled from rotation and never referenced again. Various trailers and a synopsis based on leaked information show that it went pretty much how one would expect it to go - with Team Plasma stealing the Meteonite from Team Rocket, the two teams fighting over it, and Ash intervening and having Pikachu destroy it to end the conflict. Though even if they did air, the announcement of sequel games as opposed to the usual Updated Re-release third version caused such a shakeup that the rest of the Plasma plotline was excised from the main story, completely separating it from the whole Badge quest and Tournament Arc.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The original Team Plasma (aka the self-proclaimed liberators of Pokémon led by N) never made its proper debut thanks to the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which postponed the Team Rocket vs Team Plasma Arc Finale indefinitely. The new Team Plasma led by Ghetsis did appear in the anime, but with no hints of an older incarnation thanks to the anime reworking the story to accommodate the new story elements from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Consequently, nearly all of the grey morality surrounding Team Plasma's goal has been watered down or relegated to N, who received a good dose of Adaptational Heroism thanks to the rewrite.
    • Due to the aforementioned situation above, the Shadow Triad do not appear in the anime. While the Seven Sages do appear, they had their distinct, individualistic appearances and personalities removed (except Ghetsis, of course).
    • Lentimas Town and Black City are the only towns and cities in the Unova region not to be featured in the anime. Same for White Forest.
    • Aside from Caitlin and Champion Alder, none of the Unova Elite Four appear in this series.
  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: Two of them in the Black & White era, thanks of recurring character Luke: the first one (which also marks Luke's debut) is "Movie Time! Zorua in 'The Legend of the Pokémon Knight'!", where Ash and pals join in the cast of Luke's amateur movie after he failed to do it using only his Zorua as every character in the film (since Zorua is a female and she wants to do only the female characters), and later "An Epic Defense Force!", where Ash and pals join Luke in a amateur movie contest at Pokéstar Studios, making a film that is hogged with references to the Showa Era Godzilla films.
  • Arc Villain:
    • For the first time since the original series, Giovanni and the Team Rocket organization take center spotlight as villains for Black & White rather than letting Jessie, James, and Meowth do their own thing. Originally, they were intended to cause enough ruckus to draw out Team Plasma and fight them for dominance, but that never came to pass thanks to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The arc was later reworked for a story featuring Meloetta and the Forces of Nature (Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus).
      • Immediately after the aborted Team Rocket vs Team Plasma finale, Giovanni takes a leave of absence and the Team Rocket trio are placed under the supervision of Dr. Zager, who assigns them to various missions such as capturing the Forces of Nature and resurrecting a Tirtouga fossil.
      • Once it becomes clear that Meloetta is the key Pokémon needed to control the Reveal Glass for Operation Tempest, Giovanni returns to the field and even battles Ash for the first time. When his attempt to control the Forces of Nature through the Reveal Glass is thwarted by Ash and friends, Giovanni orders Team Rocket to retreat back to Kanto, ending his involvement in Unova for the rest of the series.
    • The Episode N arc features the proper debut of Team Plasma (albeit the more malevolent Team Plasma from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2) under Ghetsis and Colress. They seek to find and control Reshiram for their own nefarious ends. The former Team Plasma member, N, is trying to stop them from doing so.
  • Art Evolution: For the first time since the original series, the characters all received a physical redesign to better match Ken Sugimori's latest art style, specifically rounder eyes with larger irises and visible pupils. Many attacks such as Flamethrower and Hyper Beam also had their visual appearances changed, now rendered with CGI instead hand-drawn animation. These changes are later brought over to the XY series with the exception of physical Steel-Type moves; in that case, the steel-colored body parts reverted back to the plain white.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: In Season 16, one of the shots shows all of Ash's Pokémon (including Squirtle, who's supposed to be in training with the Squirtle Squad, and Charizard, who's at the Charizific Valley) that he still owns at Oak's lab. One might think he was planning on using all of them in the Unova League like he did with most of them in the Sinnoh League, but they only appear at the end of the series (sans Charizard, who Ash brings back to his team for a bit, and Squirtle, who's only seen in a few flashbacks).
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Ever since their introduction in the second episode of Kanto, it was a given to have the Team Rocket trio make an appearance in every episode, even if it's just a small 30-second cameo. This trend is finally broken in the sixteenth Unova episode, where they don't make any appearances whatsoever.
    • Since Kanto, Ash either had Misty or Brock traveling alongside him, with Johto being the only other region he had both. Unova was the first region where neither of them were amongst his companions.
      • Additionally, this is the first time where all of Ash's traveling companions are new. Full future traveling companion changes will become a trend per generation.
    • Unova was the first region where Ash doesn't encounter the regional villain team until after completing the league, where they got a short arc dedicated to them.
    • This is the first (and thus far, only) region since Johto where Ash catches all three regional starers.
    • Both Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny have a redesign.
    • This is the first time all the members of the main cast have rivals.
    • Ash has a female rival.
    • First main female professor.
    • Ash challenging a regional Champion.
    • Ash has an unfought Gym Leader.
    • To have the returning main cast companions from 2 or more different generations in the main episodes, if counting special episodes. note 

    Tropes E to H 
  • Establishing Character Moment: Team Rocket escaping through a Smoke Out rather than their classic Twinkle in the Sky blast off in "Enter Iris and Axew!" cement their new status as serious villains, leaving their Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain days behind until the "Episode N" arc, which gradually brings them back to their old roots again.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Acting as somewhat of a Soft Reboot to the anime, the first few episodes establish the new status quo, for better or worse:
    • The first episode, "In the Shadow of Zekrom!", has Ash's Pikachu temporarily lose his electric powers to Zekrom upon arrival to Unova and later gets defeated by Trip's newly obtained Snivy. This, along with the narrator directly confirming Ash to be 10 years old again at the beginning of the episode, is why Black & White is considered to be a Reset Button for Ash's journey to better accommodate the new generation of kids watching the show.
    • How do you reestablish Team Rocket as a serious threat after years of being incompetent buffoons? Give them black uniforms, leave Wobbuffet and their Sinnoh team behind at HQ, and have them receive real orders from Giovanni in person, all within their first scene. If that's not enough to convince skeptical viewers, their Smoke Out getaway instead of being blasted off after their first battle with Ash and Iris will.
  • Expy: One-Shot Character Doyle, from Episode 35, is one of Conan Edogawa. Like Conan, he's a young mystery-solving boy that wears glasses and is named after a certain author who writes about mysteries.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: When Charizard returns, several flashbacks are made to many of its spotlight episodes. Not only were all of those episodes completely redrawn to match the current style, but they are dubbed by the current cast most notably Sarah Natochenny as Ash, rather than recycling the old audio clips, (i.e. Veronica Taylor as Ash).
  • Foul Waterfowl: In the episode "Dancing With The Ducklett Trio", Ash and friends, along with the sunglasses-wearing Sandile, battle against a trio of Jerkass Ducklett who steal their stuff and the latter's sunglasses.
  • Funny Afro: Everybody wears afro wigs in "Baffling The Bouffalant!", because the Bouffalant won't attack anybody who has a similar hairstyle to their natural afros.
  • Heartfelt Apology: In "Iris and Excadrill Against the Dragon Buster!" Iris realizes that the reason Excadrill always ignores her is because he is ashamed of himself for losing to Drayden's Haxorus and that she put unnecessary pressure on Excadrill to defeat him. Iris tearfully apologizes for forcing him to battle when he knew he couldn't beat Haxorus, promising to consider the way he feels from now on. She says they should just frolic in the fields and pick berries together like they did in the old days. Clearly moved by her words, Excadrill finally comes out of his curled-up state.

    Tropes I to U 
  • Immaturity Insult: Iris often says, "You're such a kid!" to Ash (despite the fact that she's around the same age as him).
  • Lighter and Softer: Played with. The series' tone overall is lighter than the previous one, lacking the serialized drama and heated conflict with characters like Paul. However, it takes on a darker tone specifically in regards to Team Rocket, whose newfound competence and loss of their comedic qualities make their schemes much more serious than before.
  • Myth Arc: Based around the legend of the Black Hero and White Hero representing Ideals and Truth respectively, their Pokémon companions Zekrom and Reshiram, the new "chosen ones" Ash (with Pikachu) and N, and Team Plasma attempting to use this legend to advance its plan for world domination. While starting in the first episode, it only resurfaces in episode 64 and the Episode N story arc near the end of the series. It was supposed to have progressed through more episodes more routinely, but some real-life factors got in the way and changed this.
  • No-Harm Requirement: In the episode, "A Home for Dwebble", the gang help a Dwebble get its home back from a bigger, bully Dwebble that attached its shell to its bigger one. Eventually, Dwebble gets to fight it mono-et-mono, but it has to restrain itself out of risk of damaging its own shell. Eventually it's able to use Shell Smash to destroy the rival Dwebble's shell and send it packing while leaving its own shell unharmed.
  • Noodle Incident: Cilan is terrified of Purrloin because of an incident in his past involving one that he refuses to talk about until the voyage across the Decolore Islands. And even then, it is never explained to the audience, with only Ash and Iris's shocked reactions to go off of.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: A Running Gag in the series is Stephen insisting that his name is pronounced "Stef-AHN", in response to people pronouncing it "Steven" or "STEPH-an."
  • Punny Name: Best Wishes is both initialized "BW" (Black and White), and in Japanese "Wishes" would be pronounced similar to "Isshu", the Japanese name of Unova, the region the series is set. Also, the Gratuitous English is - goes without saying - a totally Justified Trope in this series given that Unova is based on North America rather than Japan.
  • Revisiting the Roots: This series is well-known for its many similarities to Pokémon: The Original Series, in particular the Kanto portion.
    • Ash is treated like a novice Trainer rather than a seasoned veteran, and has to (re)learn the basics of Pokémon training himself instead of teaching them to his new friends.
    • Ash's companions Iris and Cilan serve as Suspiciously Similar Substitutes to Misty and Brock, with Iris being a tomboyish, often bratty Tsundere who constantly bickered with Ash, and Cilan being the comic relief older brother figure that cooks, cleans, and settles arguments between the other two. Furthermore, Iris is an aspiring type master with a crippling fear of another type, while Cilan is an established Gym Leader who leaves the Gym to pursue a more unorthodox goal. Axew also fills a similar role to Togepi as The Baby of the Bunch.
    • The series follows a more episodic format akin to the original, and has a lighter, more comedic tone.
    • Ash catches all three starters, complete with a mischievous Water-type, an abused Fire-type, and a calm, responsible Grass-type. In addition, only the Fire-type evolves.
    • Ash catches a large group of Pokémon that he keeps in rotation, rather than sticking to the standard six-Pokémon limit.
    • The Unova League arc makes several noticeably similar writing choices as the Indigo League: Ash wins his first battle against an overwhelming type disadvantage, Ash's main rival is eliminated in an Anti-Climax (and in the preliminary rounds), one episode is largely used as a Breather Episode filler, and Ash loses in a humiliating way (and without having had a proper 6-on-6 battle). The final scene of the Unova League also directly mirrors the final scene of the Indigo League.
    • After his regional journey ends, Ash and his friends spend an extensive arc traveling through an anime-exclusive island group.
  • Saw Star Wars 27 Times: In "Guarding The Guardian Of The Mountain", Cilan meets Brycen and says he's seen the film Brycen starred in, "Enter The Beartic" at least 25 times.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Team Rocket's Pokémon from Johto to Sinnoh are Put on a Bus to Team Rocket HQ for this series, partially to avoid attracting attention from Unova residents for being foreign Pokémon but most likely to get rid of the comedic association from the past series in order to sell Team Rocket as super competent baddies. When Wobbuffet returns to the team in the last episode, it signifies the bumbling Team Rocket fans know and love are here to stay.
  • Soft Reboot: While it's still canon to all the previous sagas, Black & White distances itself from the tighter, more consistent continuity of the anime's "classic era." Both Ash and Team Rocket receive significant overhauls to their personalities, and while there are still many Continuity Nods, the natural flow between Ash's journeys became much looser starting from Unova.
  • Third-Option Adaptation:
    • For the first time since the original series, Ash catches all three regional starters instead of just one, though when it comes to the first Gym, Oshawott vs Pansage is the only match up that actually happens in the games.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, the first and last gyms each have multiple leaders, of which the player only fights one. In the anime, Ash fights all three leaders in the first gym and neither of the last gym leaders - instead the two leaders from the last gym, Iris and Drayden, face each other (Iris being a regular supporting character and proving herself against her mentor Drayden) and Ash gets his eighth badge from one of the new leaders from the sequel.
    • Subverted with Episode N in regards to the cover legendaries. Ash is closely associated with Zekrom while N is associated with Reshiram, with Team Plasma trying to find and control the latter. However, it is unknown if the story would have been different if the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami not postponed (and eventually retconned) the original debut episodes of Team Plasma.
  • Took a Level in Badass: For most of the series, the Team Rocket trio exchange their goofy personalities for serious, focused ones, making them much more credible villains that the heroes have greater difficulty defeating. However, after their villain climax at the Operation Tempest arc, this trope is increasingly subverted until they fully return to their role as comedic Harmless Villains.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Ash is rebooted into a rookie at the start of this series: he loses to a new Trainer who just received his starter, forgets how to catch Pokémon, and forgets or ignores most type matchups, in contrast to the borderline elite-level Trainer he'd grown into by Sinnoh. While he does eventually regain some of his lost competence, he never quite makes a return to form, as evidenced by the fact that his League placement actually regressed from the Sinnoh League (from top 4 to top 8, and losing in a less than dignified way to boot).
    • As mentioned above, Team Rocket also revert back to their original silly personalities after the Operation Tempest arc, and are fully back to comic relief by the Decolore Islands.
  • Truer to the Text: The dub of Black & White is the most faithful to the original Japanese version, with far fewer Dub Personality Changes and the vast majority of the original soundtrack retained, something that even the later series wouldn't have. Even the very episode titles are more faithful to the original version, as most of them are fairly literal translations of the main plot instead of the Pun-Based Titles and pop culture references that dominated the dub beforehand.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: The titular Purrloin in the episode "Purrloin: Sweet or Sneaky!" caught the attention of Oshawott and Meowth (confirmed to be male in earlier episodes) and both of them competed to see who would be Purrloin's boyfriend. Only for that Purrloin's owner to point out that it was male and the whole act was just a ruse to steal stuff.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Best Wishes


Pokemon BW Season 2

Emboar used Attract! His sexiness is super effective!

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