Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this series has very simplistic dialogue and themes and is part of a gigantic licensing juggernaut. The often cute-and-cuddly Pokemon monsters appeal to kids as young as 4 or 5, but the subject matter -- pitting monsters against each other using a multitude of attacks -- may not be appropriate for them. The battles the monsters participate in can get fairly violent, with laser blasts and explosions. Characters strive to battle honorably, respect their elders, and care for their monsters, which partly balances the show's violent premise. That said, the fact that the characters have pet-like subordinates that they summon to do battle on their behalf is a bit disturbing.
Some female characters wear short skirts and breast-enhancing tops.
Pokemon characters handle most of the fighting, which includes laser shots, explosive battles, and some punching and kicking. Lasting injuries are rare, and there's never bloodshed. Battles are treated as a sport with organized tournaments overseen by adults. Confrontations with the evil Team Rocket call for impromptu monster battles and always end in humorous explosions.
Occasional name-calling like "twerp" and "knucklehead."
The main characters are good sports, good friends, and value taking good care of their Pokemon (who they then call on to engage in battles on their behalf). Animation is Asian influenced, though as with most anime series, few characters look distinctly Asian. Goofy humor with kid appeal. The few female characters don't come off well (traits include being constantly fearful and whiny or conniving, demanding, and bossy). A main bad-guy character has internal struggles with his wholesome-but-overbearing upbringing, which led him to rebel and join a group that steals Pokemons in a quest for world domination. Although he knows his actions are wrong, he's not strong enough to break away.
The show often feels like a commercial for the line of Pokemon toys, video games, trading cards, and other paraphernalia. New Pokemon and new levels in the TV show encourage kids to acquire new cards and games.
Drugs / Tobacco /