Pokemon - Shiroi Ashita da! Rocket-dan!

Surprised? I never knew that there were Pokemon drama CD's, so when I discovered that there are two of them I just had to find them. This is by far the oldest drama CD  that I have reviewed so far (1998!!) so please forgive the blurry cover image ;)

I use the English names, because that is what I grew up with.

サウンドピクチャーボックス 白い明日だ!ロケット団

Company: Nintendo / Shogakukan Production
Based on: anime
Released: 1998.11.11

Every one knows Pokemon, so I don't need to explain what it is :p But I'm part of the Pokemon Generation, I grew up with it. I played the games (still do!) watched the anime, like everyone did. So when I discovered that there are two drama CD's my nostalgia overtook me~

白い明日だ!ロケット団 (shiroi ashita da! roketto dan, A White Tomorrow! Team Rocket!) is a story about team rocket. It was originally broadcasted as a radio drama, and later released on CD. The CD has 7tracks in total, of which 3 are the drama and the other 4 are songs.

The story of the drama takes place somewhere at the beginning of the series. Team Rocket has once again been blasted away after a failed attempt to catch Pikachu. While Jesse (CV: Hashibara Megumi) and Meowth (CV: Inuyama Inuko) are arguing about Meowth his uselessness, James (CV: Miki Shinichirou) complains that he is hungry and calls for food.

Which is brought to them by a "Rocket Gang Special Delivery Member Trainee"named Mondo. After a quick friendly match between Jessie her Arbok and Mondo his Ditto(CV: Kawata Taeko), Jessie and James offer to 'train ditto for a while' and trade him for Meowth (who doesn't agree with this at all). Their actual plan is to have Ditto transform into Pikachu so that they can swap it with the real one, but Ditto keeps transforming into the wrong pokemon and only causes trouble.

The story quite entertaining. The interactions between the Rocket trio are always entertaining, and Mondo is such a lovably naive character as well. Apparently he regularly delivers food and equipment for Team Rocket to use. This is also the only time he ever appears in the series, he is never seen or mentioned in the anime.

This sounds and feels like the actual anime in every way. From the narration to the background music, everything is exactly the same. From the way Team Rocket blasts off, to their hilarious conversations, it all has so much nostalgia it just makes me happy.

This drama CD held one great surprise for me: Mondo. Or rather, his seiyuu. I've checked and double checked and checked again, but it turns out Mondo his voiced by none other than... Koyasu Takehito. No matter how much I listen, I can't hear it. Except for the cast call. The one seiyuu I was certain I could recognize everywhere and I couldn't hear it even though I knew. I am sorry Koyasu-sama, I have failed you  T-T

One thing that I did discover is that it is not an easy drama  to listen to. Jessie and James tend to speak very fast and with their mouth full or other things that make them hard to understand. Meowth his way of speaking is not easy to listen to if you're not used to it to begin with.

Track 1 and 5 are songs also found on an earlier single with Team Rocket songs, but track 6 and 7 are pretty interesting. Both are lyrical versions from songs from the game boy games. (the opening theme and the surf theme respectively). Especially the surfing song is really cute.

There is so much nostalgia here, but somehow it is still fresh. Don't expect any character development whatsoever, but it is fun to hear a Team Rocket story that I didn't know. This is a fun, lighthearted drama (just like the anime) but I'm looking forward to the other drama CD, which tells the story of how Mewtwo was born.

ps: I loved how everyone got to say their name in the cast call, even Misty who said only one sentence, and the seiyuu who did the pokemon. Brock his Onix is the only one not announced (apparently though, Onix is voiced by Ishizuka Unshou as well).

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