I will be the first to admit I am not a Pokemon person. I stopped watching the show after season 2 or so (I can't even really remember), I've never played any of the games or collected the cards. My collective knowledge of the franchise probably couldn't fill a Poke Ball. I didn't even know there were different kinds of Poke Balls before I opened this book.
That being said, I feel much more comfortable holding a conversation with a fan after reading this book. It's a pretty comprehensive primer for the entire universe. Every character gets a blurb, every creature has a summary, and every location is covered. I wouldn't pass if you quizzed me on it (I read it not memorized it) but if a fan of the show started talking about it, I would understand what they were saying.
As to the content, most of the pictures are direct from the show so if there's something different in the card game or the video games, it's not here. That's fine by me because if you're looking for something just to dip a toe into this world, you don't want to bury someone with that much information. As a non-fan who is friends with fans, it's scary to see just how vast the entire Pokemon franchise is. This book is nice and simple: This is the show and the creatures in it. That's all. It's also NOT an episode guide. Chances are you won't see many spoilers in here.
My only complaint is that some of the stills taken from the show are a bit fuzzy but if that's the only obvious flaw I caught, this book has a lot going for it.
Except that the series came to the U.S. in 1998... This book made me feel old as hell.
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