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Pokemon Indigo League Season 1: Vol. 3

Score: 90%
Rating: ALL
Publisher: Viz Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 575 Mins.
Genre: Anime/Family/TV Series
Audio: English
Subtitles: English

Pokemon Indigo League Season 1: Vol. 3 concludes Ash's journey to the Indigo Plateau and his first attempt to become a Pokemon Master.

When we last left Ash, Misty, Brock and all of their pokemon, Ash was on his way to find his seventh badge. This collection (which ranges from Episodes 53 to 79) not only covers Ash getting the Volcano Badge, but also the Earth Badge and then his competition in the Pokemon League.

Early in the box set, Misty and Jessie go head-to-head in a pokemon battle, and Jessie gets to capture and use a brand new pokemon, a Lickitung. Of course, when these two battle, Misty is the victor and she ends up winning a set of pokemon dolls.

Soon after this episode, Ash and the gang make it to Cinnibar Island where they start looking for a gym leader named Blaine, but it appears the tourist trade has put the local pokemon gym out of business. The trio end up staying at an inn run by a man who loves riddles, and before you know it, they find out that this man is Blaine himself and his gym was relocated to the heart of the volcano. This battle is in two parts, and Ash first loses to Blaine's fiery Magmar, but after the inevitable fight with Team Rocket, he is given a second chance. This time, Charizard has decided that he wants to fight and together, they successfully defeat Blaine (too bad Charizard still won't really listen to Ash; he was just going along with him for the sake of that battle).

After that, the gang decides to head back towards the start of their journey, Viridian City (where Ash and Misty first met). It seems that since Misty was so angry at Ash way back when, she forgot to tell him that there was a gym there. Along the way, they will run into a colony of squirtle, wartortle and blastoise that are fast asleep thanks to a familiar small, pink puffball pokemon called Jigglypuff. Misty will also return, briefly to Cerulean City, to visit her family and help put on a water ballet and the gang will help to uncover the reason why a bunch of clefairy have resorted to theft. All this is in preparation for Ash meeting the leader behind the Earth gym.

When Ash finally approaches the gym, he is stunned to find his rival Gary Oak there getting ready to enter. Gary quickly boasts that he already has 10 badges (the minimum requirement for entering into the championship is 8), and he is going to try this one out just to have a little fun. Ash isn't allowed in, but we, the viewers, see Gary quickly take down the leader's raticate, but when he pulls out a mysterious new pokemon covered in machinery, Gary is quickly defeated. As it turns out, the gym leader is none other than Giovanni, the Team Rocket boss, and the pokemon is none other than MewTwo. When MewTwo escapes (thus laying down the groundwork for the original Pokemon Movie), Giovanni leaves the gym in the hands of Jessie, James and Meowth, just in time for Ash to challenge the gym. Of course, Ash defeats the trio (as he always does), and gets a new badge out of it.

It isn't long before Ash heads off to the Pokemon League in hopes of beating all that go up against him and taking on the Elite Four and being declared the next Pokemon Master. His adventures on the Indigo Plateau cause him to meet quite a few new friends and pokemon. But when Ash has to go up against one of those friends, Richie, in his fifth match, Ash loses but he supports his friend as he tries to continue on in the competition.

By the end of Pokemon Indigo League Season 1: Vol. 3, Ash has resolved himself in trying harder and earning more badges so he can compete in the next competition. After this, Ash will head to the Orange Islands for Season 2 and face a whole new slew of pokemon and make new friends. Needless to say, this boxed set is for fans of the cartoon series and games. If you didn't have a chance to see how Ash's adventure began, then definitely look for these three boxes jam-packed with pokemon goodness.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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