‘The End of Pokemon’ brings dark, gritty look at franchise


The Bootleg Universe, owned by Netflix Castlevania creator Adi Shankar tried their hand at the popular video game franchise – Pokemon.

Shankar’s Bootleg Universe, which is a fan, artistic, satirical interpretation of famous properties. Some notable works from this universe include “The Punisher: Dirty Laundry” and “Venom: Truth in Journalism” before they set their eyes on Pokemon.

Folks may remember the dark, gritty reboot “Power Rangers” – titled “Power/Rangers” that dropped in 2015, which the Bootleg Universe also produced.

This time Shankar dropped a new trailer titled “The End of Pokemon,” directed by Luis Pelayo Junquera and Enol Junquera with Angry Metal Studios providing the animation. Note the footage in the video below is not intended for children, so trainers should probably wait until little ones are out of the room before watching it.

The trailer has a dystopian, cyber punk, anime feel to it. The art style is a mix between Akira, Heavy Metal and Avatar: The Last Airbender with the tone of a Christopher Nolan film. Folks could also compare it to Adult Swim’s “Mr. Pickles.”

It features a grown up Ash Ketchum vowing to free all Pokemon. The Pokemon themselves, with the exception of the Pikachu statue kind of remind me of the realistic images artists create online and posted throughout Tumblr.

This is an interesting take from Shankar and provides a darkness to the anime series that is a contrast to the bright, colorful world that fans have known for 20 years. It features numerous callbacks to the anime, including the inclusion of Brock, Misty and Team Rocket.

To say it’s dark is an understatement – like Pokemon and trainers are actually being murdered, which is unsettling, like watching Batman shoot people in Batman v. Superman.

If you’re a hardcore fan of the franchise, you probably won’t enjoy it because it does bring a grittiness  hat doesn’t hasn’t been around – and probably doesn’t need to be there.

For me personally, it kind of flies in the face of the mythos the anime has built with its characters.

Much like how the Dark Knight Rises makes Batman a quitter, the story makes Ash, who wanted to be a Pokemon master and catch every one, give up his quest because he lost Pikachu. Even if Ash lost Pikachu, either by death or retirement, he wouldn’t stop being a trainer because he knows that his best friend would want him to continue the journey.

Folks in the Youtube comments seem to like it – and much like Power/Rangers – people say they would pay money to see it. A few people made the joke that the trailer did something the anime hasn’t had the courage to do – let Ash age.

I’m not calling The End of Pokemon bad – again it has a good art style and action scenes. Honestly, I’d kind of like to see Shankar take on a Pokemon adaptation. I love his Castlevania series and I’m waiting on season three. I wouldn’t mind seeing a crossover between Pokemon and Castlevania.

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Instead of the anime, Shankar could create a Pokemon series based on the great Pokemon war or other events that have happened in the game.