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YMMV / Pokémon Origins

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The anime itself does this with several characters from the games:
    • Brock is The Mentor, though this is somewhat reminiscent of his other anime counterpart.
    • The Marowak ghost isn't trying to attack humans; she's trying to warn people away from Team Rocket.
    • Giovanni. As a child he was a Pokémon trainer much like Red. When he battles Red, he remembers how much he enjoyed Pokémon when he was younger, making him something of an Audience Surrogate for older Pokémon fans.
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    • Mewtwo is little more than an uncontrollable and incredibly powerful wild animal, which is a far cry from its portrayal in other adaptations. Consistent with those adaptations, it obviously wants to be left alone, but Red won't leave. On the other hand, this is basically how it was portrayed in the game itself.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The entire existence of Origins can be seen as one for Pokémon fans who wish the anime followed the games more closely. Its Darker and Edgier tendencies also are intended to appeal to fans of the original games who had outgrown the anime.
    • Mega Charizard X's reveal in this special. When Mega Charizard Y was originally revealed, it was said to retain its typing and was thought to be the final nail in the coffin for Charizard ever being a Dragon-type. Cue this special being aired in Japan, revealing in a post-credits sequence that Mega Charizard X was a Fire/Dragon.
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  • Awesome Ego: Blue is every bit as rude and arrogant as he is in the games, but no less popular for it.
  • Awesome Music: Many of the classic themes from Red and Green/Blue are redone as proper orchestral pieces here. And it is awesome.
  • Broken Base:
    • When the first trailers where shown, people were split on whether the art style was good or not.
    • The inclusion of game elements (trainers using up to six Pokémon while Gym Leaders use a few; showing health bars; linear, back and forth battles, etc.) have fans split on whether they meshed well with a realistic Pokémon universe. A derivative of this argument instead dwells upon which games Origins should've been based upon, as the OVA uses many of the characters designs introduced in the Gen III remakes yet sticks to Gen I gameplay mechanics.
    • When it was announced, people were butting heads over which was better: this, or the regular anime. Particularly when it came to their protagonists. Asking if Red actually is a better Trainer than Ash—in terms of not only accomplishments, but battling styles, battling efficiency, and raising/caring for their Pokémon—can result in incredibly nasty debates, particularly where die-hard Red fans/ Ash haters are concerned, so tread lightly. (Of course, another subset of the fandom finds the comparisons to be overblown and ultimately meaningless, due to the great differences between the shows and the messages they convey.)
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: After the Mewtwo from the 16th anime series movie sparked massive backlash, many fans enjoyed Mewtwo in this special, as it provided a third interpretation of the character after the two anime series Mewtwo — essentially, an uncontrollable and highly dangerous superpowered wild animal... just like any other Pokémon in the games.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Origins was hyped to oblivion in the West due to many fans being fed up with the regular anime. In Japan, its TV ratings weren't spectacular, and it failed to outdraw a regular anime special starring Cilan and Brock. Naturally, Origins was available for purchase on iTunes in the West long before the regular anime.
  • Ho Yay: Something about Blue going for a Security Cling with Red after being scared off by the ghost in Lavender Tower comes off as kind off shippy...
  • Hype Backlash: While Origins is well-liked among of older fans of the games for being a mostly-faithful and more mature adaptation of Red/Blue with high quality animation, slick battle scenes, and interesting takes on certain characters and events, there is a sizable contingent of fans, even those who are part of said Periphery Demographic, who see the four-part OVA not as the best Pokémon animation in years, but a So Okay, It's Average production for a variety of reasons, some of which ironically echo criticisms aimed at the anime. These include but are not limited to pacing problems leading to a rushed narrative that somehow glosses over Red's primary goal of catching all 150 Pokémon, Red's one-note personality and general lack of Character Development, the over-reliance of Charizard to the point of overshadowing all other Mons for the sake of advertising Mega Evolution in Gen VI (some have even argued that the rest of Red's ever-rotating team consists of jobbers there to make his starter look good when a battle is shown in full, with Charizard itself usually bailed out through last-second miracles), and Origins' own fair share of mid-battle inconsistencies that make Red's competency level fluctuate wildly despite the reliance on "Gen I game logic," the rematch with Giovanni being a major offender. Not helping matters is the fact that Red, a Memetic Badass in the games (and the Special manga to a lesser extent), has a very noxious fanbase that latched onto his Origins counterpart and placed him upon a lofty pedestal, all the while deriding Ash/the anime and conveniently downplaying/ignoring the faults of Red/Origins.
  • I Liked It Better When It Sucked: One of the other aspects dividing the fandom was how some older fans of the anime had gotten so used to the cheesy dub that a more sophisticated one felt bland by comparison.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: While sucks might be too strong of a word, many fans were disappointed that the OVA was only four episodes, and that only a couple of the Gym Leaders were highlighted among other rushed moments.
  • It Was His Sled: Spoiler alert — Mega Charizard X exists! This came as a surprise when the special first aired, although its appearance in the special may still come as a surprise for some.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Blue. Sure, he's much more of an asshole than he is in the games, but you'd be lying if you didn't want to give the poor guy a hug at some point—especially during, and after, his last battle with Red. And it doesn't stop there, either. After his ill-fated battle against Mewtwo, in which his Pokédex was crushed after his Blastoise fell on it, a bandaged and bedridden Blue can only watch as his rival hands in his completed Pokédex to the professor.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The special was meant to be a tribute to the video games, but some persons latched onto it as being the "true" anime, putting Red on a pedestal while bashing Ash.
  • Narm:
    • For several viewers, Red's explanation for how his name ties into his choice of a starter Pokémon comes across as downright cheesy. While it's been accepted for a long time that the first few Gens had... odd name choices for the protagonists and rivals, some felt Origins would've been better off just letting it be instead of awkwardly trying to justify it.
    • The Team Rocket Grunts catching wild Pokémon in Episode 2 would have been a tense scene... if it weren't for the fact that the Grunts' animation are almost non-existent as they move forward, making them seem like they're rollerskating.
    • The English-dubbed version of Marowak's death scream makes it sound like she just fainted rather actually dying. It's even more ridiculous when compared to the Japanese version, which is genuine Nightmare Fuel.
  • Never Live It Down: One of the most commonly cited scenes amongst detractors of the series is when Red says his battle is useless unless he wins it specifically with his Charizard. This is seen as snobbish as he brushes off his other Pokémon.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The moment when Blue's Squirtle uses Bite on Red's Charmander. Squirtle chomps Charmander on the neck, and for about ten seconds, you hear it screaming. The flame on its tail starts dying before Red retrieves it. The screaming was toned down in the dub, though it leads to a different kind of Nightmare Fuel.
    • At the end of Red and Brock's battle, Onix comes dangerously close to falling on and crushing one of Brock's guards. Fortunately, Brock manages to call it back before it can land on her.
    • They animated the "Do you believe in ghosts?" scene; when the woman asks the question, Red answers with "Not at all, I don't think they exist" nervously. The woman responds with "The white hand on your shoulder, I'm imagining that right?" Red laughs nervously and replies "Could you please stop joking around?", and when Red opens his eyes, she and her friend are nowhere to be seen. Worse still, if you look closely, Red actually does have a white hand on his shoulder.
    • Remember hearing about the Marowak killed by Team Rocket? Well here, you actually see it. Sure, it cuts away from the actual killing, but they do not skirt the implications at all. Oh, and even though they cut away? You can perfectly hear Marowak's lovely blood-curdling scream. The pitch is almost human, which just makes it more painful and haunting to hear. Like when Charmander got bitten by Squirtle, this was also downplayed in the dub.
    • When Giovanni's Rhyhorn OHKOs Red's Victreebel with Horn Drill, you can see a puncture wound in Victreebel's stomach.
    • Seeing Blue in bandages after his encounter with Mewtwo.
    • Mewtwo's silhouette wreathed in flames is nightmarish.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • Charizard's role as the main Pokémon, and Pikachu having little more than a cameo. Charizard is one of the more popular Pokémon, especially in the west. Additionally, the specials showcased Mega Charizard X.
    • Red actually catching all 150 Pokémon of Kanto, which is a common criticism of Ash for not living up to the English's slogan.
    • Team Rocket actually showing up and pulling off the heists they did in the original games, which didn't happen most of time with Team Rocket in anime.
    • The confirmation that Mr. Fuji from Lavender Town is the same person as the Dr. Fuji that worked on the creation of Mewtwo. This was previously hinted at on a sign found on the event-only Faraway Island in Emerald (though only the Japanese version had the name on the sign).
    • Mewtwo's characterization in the special. After the 16th movie's Mewtwo proved to be rather diverse among the fandom, this Mewtwo's personality was much better received. It should be note that the special and the movie came out in the same year.
  • Signature Scene: Red's Charmander's blood-curdling scream of agony when it's bit by Blue's Squirtle, which notably sets the tone for this particular adaptation.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: Some people love the English dub (Bowdlerization aside), others outright hate it. Notably, Dogasu, usually a harsh critic of English Pokémon dubs, actually said that the dub is really good, to the point where he warned people to avoid fansubs of the special due to their generally low quality.
  • Tear Jerker: Cubone reuniting with the ghost of its dead mother, as well as the flashback telling Cubone's story.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Red's focusing on Charizard can come off as this, especially during the final battle with Giovanni, where he states that a victory without Charizard taking it is meaningless. Comes off as pretty harsh when you consider that 5 of his other Pokémon just did their best for him and were quite brutally defeated. This also shows that he neglects the training of his other Pokémon in favor of Charizard, something a lot of first-time players are guilty of doing with their starters.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: It's still family-friendly, but its Gen I basis and existence alongside the regular anime make it clear that Origins was made for '90s kids first and 2013 kids second.
  • Woolseyism: Despite the Lost in Translation matter regarding Blue's shirt losing its reference to Pokémon Green Version (and Pokémon LeafGreen Version, by extension), the English name change of "Green" to "Blue" allows both Red and Blue's names to match the original English paired versions (Red and Blue) as well as the colors/elements of their starter Pokémon (Charizard and Blastoise, respectively), the latter of which being something that the Japanese version of Origins doesn't do. Although, in the second case, Green/Blue vocally denies any attempt to make his Pokémon choice match his name, unlike Red.

Example of: