The Pokemon anime is making the transition to digital broadcast in the coming months in Japan, and I think it more than anything else marks the beginning of the end for standard television.
The Pokemon anime is older than some of the kids who are fans of the show in the first place. It’s seen some of the most significant changes in animation and entertainment in our time. The anime started in 1998 with cel animation and a somewhat limited budget resulting in somewhat limited animation. As Pokemon reached international success, the show clearly improved, and by the time the 2000s rolled around it was starting to go into digital animation, eventually converting over completely. Along the way there’s been multiple movies done in both cel and digital, and now we have a new era upon us of widescreen, high-definition, digitally animated, digitally broadcasted Pokemon. And that’s not even talking about the basic changes in episode styles and themes that are the result of starting with a primarily Japanese audience and moving into an international one.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Very few anime can say they’ve seen the world change around them as it has with Pokemon.