From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- Best Wishes! redirects here. For the similarly named first opening of the Best Wishes series, see Best Wishes! (song).
- Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 redirects here. For the similarly named CD, see Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 (CD).
Pokémon the Series: Black & White (Japanese: ポケットモンスターベストウイッシュ Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!), referred to by fans as the Best Wishes series, is the fourth series of the Pokémon anime and is based on the events of the Generation V core series Pokémon games. It follows the Diamond & Pearl series and was succeeded by the XY series. It ran from September 23, 2010 to September 26, 2013 in Japan and from February 12, 2011 to December 7, 2013 in the United States. It was not given an English name until after the release of Pokémon the Series: XY.
As with both the Advanced Generation and Diamond & Pearl series before it, the Best Wishes series begins with only Ash Ketchum, headed off to a new region with his Pikachu. Much like before, his previous female companion, Dawn, has left the series, while, unlike the previous three series, with the exception of the Orange Archipelago saga, Brock does not join him in his journey in Unova. Instead, Ash now travels through Unova with a girl by the name of Iris and with one of the first Unova Gym Leaders, Cilan, who is also a Pokémon Connoisseur.
As before, Ash receives a change of clothes. For the first time in the entire show, the Team Rocket trio also receive a change of clothes, but later change back to their original outfits. Best Wishes is also notable for Jessie, James, and Meowth not being present in all episodes outside of AG120 and the first episode, a trend that continued into the XY series and the Sun & Moon series. For a majority of the series, they play a significantly more antagonistic role than in any other series, displaying very little humor (although this was restored during the Decolore Islands arc).
Additionally, a new art style was introduced in this series. To match Ken Sugimori's most recent character art, all characters are now drawn with the new eye style previously introduced in the Diamond & Pearl series. This style includes rounder eyes with larger irises and visible pupils. Ash's new design now clearly depicts his brown eyes. Jessie and James have also been redesigned similarly, while also having been given a straighter hairstyle. Additionally, the Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny in Unova are designed differently than those of the regions visited by Ash before, a trend that would continue in later series.
With the beginning of this series, many attacks also have had their visual appearances changed. Fire-type moves and Stone Edge are now rendered in CGI, while physical Steel-type moves make the corresponding body part steel-colored rather than white (although this was reverted in the XY series). Hyper Beam has also been changed considerably, to match how it looks in the games.
The series also saw the return of Who's That Pokémon? in the English dub of the first episode, and the return of Dare da? in BW061 after an absence of 444 episodes.
Episodes in the Best Wishes series are numbered with the prefix BW on Bulbapedia. For a complete episode listing, see the list of Best Wishes series episodes.
When Ash and his mother accompany Professor Oak to the distant Unova region, Ash discovers Pokémon that he’s never seen before… and that he can’t wait to catch! He may have Pikachu at his side together with new friends Iris and Cilan, but he’ll still need plenty of new Pokémon on his team if he wants to challenge Unova’s expert Gym Leaders. His quest to become a Pokémon Master just got even tougher!
The Best Wishes series has been divided into multiple arcs in the Japanese release, similar to the "chapters" of the original series.
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! (BW001-BW084)
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウィッシュ) includes Ash's arrival in Unova, his meeting Iris and Cilan, and collecting the Gym Badges of the region. Several times throughout the arc, Ash and his friends come into major conflicts with Team Rocket.
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 (BW085-BW108)
Best Wishes! Season 2 logo
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes Season 2 (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン２) mainly consists of Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup and Vertress Conference tournaments. Cynthia and Dawn return, and the group meets Meloetta. Giovanni returns as a major character to lead Team Rocket in Operation Tempest, a mission to capture Meloetta and the Forces of Nature.
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N (BW109-BW122)
Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N logo
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes Season 2 - Episode N (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン２ エピソードＮ) focuses on N and Team Plasma. Ash, Iris and Cilan learn of the White Ruins and decide to visit Cedric Juniper's expedition there. On their way, they meet N and become involved in Ghetsis's plot to have Team Plasma take control of the world using Colress's Pokémon control device.
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure! (BW123-BW142)
Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure logo
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes Season 2 - Decolora Adventure! (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン２ デコロラアドベンチャー!) comprises Ash and his friends touring the Decolore Islands on their way back to Kanto. On their way, they meet Alexa, a Pokémon photographer from the Kalos region.
When the Best Wishes series came to be dubbed into English and other languages, it was divided into three seasons:
- Main article: Pokémon movie → Best Wishes series
- For more images, please see artwork from the Best Wishes anime series on the Bulbagarden Archives.
A pre-release poster for Best Wishes!
Poster for Best Wishes! Season 2
Poster for Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N
Poster for Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure
Contemporary poster for Pokémon the Series: Black & White
Netflix poster for Pokémon the Series: Black & White
Pokémon Asia poster for Pokémon: Black and White
The Best Wishes title was likely selected using words beginning with B and W as an allusion to its counterpart games, Black and White. Additionally, the katakana transcription of the English word "Wishes" (ウイッシュ Uisshu) contains the Japanese name of Unova (イッシュ Isshu), the region the games and anime series take place in.
"Best wishes" is exclaimed at various points in the series, usually when Ash and his friends are saying goodbye to a recurring character or a character of the day. This carries over even to the dub.
- For several weeks, previews of the Best Wishes series's early episodes explicitly excluded Ash Ketchum, with the hosts of Pokémon Sunday commenting on his absence. Ash also did not appear on a pre-release poster.
- Ash catches the Unova starter Pokémon in reverse Pokédex order, obtaining Oshawott, then Tepig, and finally Snivy. All previous times he has caught multiple starter Pokémon, he has caught the Grass type among them first, following up with the Fire type in all regions but Hoenn, and finally catching the Water type among the group in Kanto and Johto only.
- This series features many allusions to the original series, especially in its first few episodes, including:
- Both of Ash's traveling companions are based on Gym Leaders.
- Ash meets his female traveling companion first.
- Ash meets his male traveling companion in the fifth episode, when he leaves behind his Gym Leader duties to travel with Ash.
- Both male companions are the first Gym Leaders of their respective regions that Ash faces and obtains badges from.
- The sixth episode of both series feature a Pokémon that evolves via the Moon Stone.
- Ash catches the Unova starters in the same circumstances as he caught the Kanto starters: the Water-type Pokémon follows him, the Fire-type Pokémon is abandoned by its original Trainer, and the Grass-type Pokémon is found in the wild.
- Also the Fire type's original Trainer tries to get their former Pokémon back after witnessing their powers, but fails.
- The Grass type's situations were also similar, having left their Trainer, the Pokémon distrusting humans until Ash gained its respect. It then allowed him to battle and catch it.
- Only the Fire type evolved while the other two did not.
- However, it only evolved once, similar to Bayleef.
- Ash caught more than six Pokémon.
- He also caught a Bug-type Pokémon with a three-stage evolutionary line who evolved into its final form, an additional Water type, and a Fighting type.
- He also received a Pokémon Egg.
- Ash's Charizard returns near the end of the series.
- Ash's traveling companions leave in the second to last episode of the series.
- The main heroine from the Best Wishes series, Iris, also shares some similarities to the main heroine from the original series, Misty. Both of them:
- Try to avoid returning to a specific Gym.
- Debuts in the first episode of the series, but she is not introduced in full until the second.
- Are aiming to master a specific Pokémon type, with Misty aiming to be a Water Pokémon master, while Iris wishes to be a Dragon-type Master.
- Are afraid of a specific Pokémon type, with Misty fearing Bug types, while Iris is scared of Ice types.
- Traveled with a Pokémon which they kept outside the Poké Ball, Misty with Togepi and Iris with Axew.
- Are the only female traveling companions who do not own a Pokédex.
- Caught a Pokémon in a side story episode after parting ways with Ash; Misty caught Gyarados in Cerulean Blues and Iris caught Gible in SS028.
- Additionally, this is the first series since the original series in which Ash wore his attire from the following series in the final episode.
- This is the first anime series that did not premiere on the same day its respective games were released since the original series.
- Its first Japanese opening theme, Best Wishes!, is currently the longest running opening theme which hasn't been re-mixed.
- This is the first series in which all episodes that were originally aired in Japan were dubbed. Previously, the original series had four banned episodes (EP018, EP035, EP038, EP250) and the Advanced Generation series and the Diamond & Pearl series dubs each skipped recap episodes (AG120, DP048, DP120). There were two unaired episodes in the Best Wishes series (intended to be BW023 and BW024), but they were also unaired in Japan.
- What Lies Beyond Truth and Ideals!, the final episode of Season 2: Episode N aired in Japan during the same week that New Places... Familiar Faces!, the first episode of Episode N aired in the United States.
- This is the only series in which:
- Jessie's Wobbuffet is not part of the regular cast. His only appearance in this series was in The Dream Continues!.
- There are no boss fantasies.
- Every main character had at least one rival.
- None of Ash's Gym Battles are interrupted by Team Rocket.
- Extra Pokémon Ash caught were not sent to Professor Oak's lab in Pallet Town; instead, they were sent to the laboratory of the region's Pokémon Professor, Professor Juniper.
- Ash actively cycles his Pokémon between those in his party and in storage, though only with the Pokémon he caught in Unova.
- Ash does not have a full six-on-six battle.
- He does, however, use six Pokémon in his battle against Cameron, although Cameron only uses five Pokémon due to his belief that a Full Battle is a five-on-five battle.
- After the Pokémon League ended, Ash and his friends still journeyed in the respective region for a while.
- Team Rocket changes their outfit during the series, but changes back to the white uniforms they've worn from previous series.
- This is the series in which Ash has the fewest Gym battle rematches, having only one.
In other languages