I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, talking about how the site I was ordering my Taiwanese Pokémon Diamond & Pearl boxsets had the last set of DVDs out of stock. I really like them since, as far as I can tell, they retain everything from the Japanese version. The credits, the songs, the music. They even have Japanese audio choices! Plus, the box sets are pretty. Girly, but pretty.
They’re a nice addition to my shelf. Sure, they’re artwork we’ve all seen before, but I think the boxsets are very nicely put together. I think even the DVDs themselves look nice! They actually make me giddy to look at.
At some point, she brought up that she didn’t like how the Australian Pokémon DVDs had such boring covers (she lives in Australia). Then this had me start talking about (and thinking about) the American DVD covers for the series and the Japanese covers for the series. I originally said that the American DVDs had boring covers, but quickly took it back – the original series had some pretty nice, interesting covers. As the series progressed, the covers get progressively…well, they didn’t get worse, they just got plain, simple. Simple to the point you might want to question if it’s even a DVD for a TV series. They look more like something that would appear on a notebook than a DVD cover.
The DVD on the farthest left, PokéFriends, is one of the original season 1 DVDs, covering the Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle episodes, I believe. The DVD cover almost looks like it’s a screenshot out of the anime, though I think it’s a bunch of stock art put together in an almost interesting way, save for that I have no idea where Squirtle’s looking and Charmander is just derpily not looking anywhere.
The DVD in the middle is the first Pokémon Advanced DVD. While it doesn’t really have the same simple, together original series run DVD, it still looks kind of nice. The stock art used is pretty interesting. It’s fun, even though it’s a bit random feeling in design.
Then we have the DVD on the farthest right, from Pokémon DP Battle Dimensions. While the cover itself is designed well – it’s simple, pleasing to the eye – it’s also boring and honestly feels more like it belongs on a notebook. The stock art of Chimchar is generic. Imagine the logo not there and some steel ringers down the side of the image holding some paper into it and there you have a pretty dang nice notebook. I would buy that.
So we have the Taiwanese boxsets, that use generic stock art, but with the use of placement and colours, they make for an appealing set of DVDs. Then there’s the American DVDs, which range from simple & interesting to plain & simple.
Then there are the Japanese DVDs and VHSes. While sometimes the arguably chaotic covers make me iffy, I also can’t help but love them!
They often encompass exactly what the DVD contains, showing so in a large number of cover-exclusive artwork. It makes me wonder why some of it wasn’t used for the American release covers. Were the graphic designers never given these images to work with?
You can tell from this Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation 2005 DVD that the DVD is going to contain the Ralts family, Ash’s badge case is probably going to get stolen, and something’s going to worry Pikachu.
Okay, so these Japanese DVDs aren’t that interesting in comparison to the other ones. They still have more going on than the modern American ones though. They do blend stock art pretty well and you can tell what you’re getting – a DVD focused on Ash and his monsters and a DVD focused on Dawn and her monsters.
Ooo! Ooo! Then we get some of these really awesome Johto VHSes. I actually really, really love the covers of all these VHSes. I’m actually jealous we never actually got such awesome covers over in America. I mean, just look at them – they’re so pretty and action packed.
…actually, wait. America did get really good early Johto covers. Nevermind.
Regardless, these are still really freakin’ awesome.
This one is actually one of my favourite ones. I love Misty’s pose there as she’s trying to get Corsola. Ash’s pose back there is pretty funny too. He’s like “Go for it, Misty!”. To me, this is a very interesting piece of cover art to look at. I’m sure it contains the episode where Misty gets Corsola too.
Dang it, Japan, hogging all the cool artwork for yourselves!
So, have you guys seen any of the artwork used on the Japanese covers before? Besides from on the Japanese covers, of course.