Now you can watch Pokemon TV free

Pokemon fandom is big. I mean, really big. It's practically an empire, and it isn't just the games; remember when you were younger and you watched the Pokemon cartoon series? Hell, I remember when it first started, and I also remember everyone I knew getting obsessed with it. Well, not everyone obviously, otherwise the cadre of school bullies I spent my days skirting would have had enough in common with me to hold off on their pummeling sessions.

The series hasn't stopped, though! Each year a relentless stream of them are produced by The Pokemon Company, and yes, they still by and large follow the adventures of Ash Ketchum as he endeavors to encounter every Pokemon he possibly can. To be honest, I never really clicked with Ash; he arrives in a new region at the start of each new series, and somehow all his previous accolades are nixed. He's back to amateur status, and people treat the guy like a jerk. A JERK. So... I guess what I'm saying is that the Pokemon cartoons aren't HBO. Which you probably already knew.

But The Pokemon Company have thrown fans a fairly spectacular bone this week: they've released the Pokemon TV app for IOS and Android. Basically, it's ABC Iview for Pokemon, containing a roster of fiftyish rotating episodes, deemed 'fan favourites', categorized by series. In Pokemon cartoon continuity, each series loosely accompanies the release of a new set of the games, which are in turn set in different regions. This is how the episodes are broken up: by regions (Unova at the top, and Kanto down the bottom).

The app is totally ad-free, and from the 15th to the 18th of this month will feature a stream of the brand new Pokemon feature film Pokemon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice. In the interest of honesty, the last Pokemon movie I saw was the first one, which featured one of the most powerfully stupid scenes I've ever laid eyes on. I'd love to show it to you, but it doesn't exist anywhere online, so hopefully it'll make an appearance on Pokemon TV. I will say this, though: it involves Ash dying, and a small army of Pokemon crying to a sad power ballad. Their tears then cascade over Ash, bringing him back to life. I know.

If you're a Pokemon fan, this app is a godsend: the interface is smooth and easily navigable, the video quality is fine, and it gets updated with new episodes every week. If you're not, it's easily avoidable. And if you're into the games like I am and haven't really delved into the series, this is pretty much the perfect excuse! It's fundamentally kid oriented, but it's also weirdly compelling viewing. Viewing you'll very likely have to keep to yourself.

profile of Paul Verhoeven