While the English dub for the long-running Pokemon anime has yet to catch up with Pokemon Sword and Shield, we've now got a different episodic lens on the Galar region thanks to Pokemon: Twilight Wings. The first episode of the miniseries premiered today on the official Pokemon YouTube channel, and it sets up what could become a pretty novel and tender approach to Pokemon storytelling.
The first episode, titled "Letter," focuses on a young boy named John who has spent most of his life confined to a hospital room. John's at right about at the age when kids in the Pokemon world set out to become trainers, but he contents himself by watching matches starring the region's champion, Leon. When Chairman Rose of the Galar Pokemon League pays a visit to the hospital, John springs into action in the hopes of getting to see a Pokemon match in person.
It's a sweet and rather modest short. A Corviknight serving as Rose's flying taxi gets more screen time than the episode's televised Pokemon battle, and the richly detailed animation from Studio Colorido breathes life into the relatively low-stakes story.
At the end of the episode, we catch glimpses of a few other familiar faces from Sword and Shield's cast of characters. Perhaps future episodes of Twilight Wings will take an anthology approach, wandering away from John's story to check in with other folks scattered across the Galar region (c'mon, give Hop an opportunity to shine).
The Pokemon Company will release new episodes of Twilight Wings each month through to summer 2020, which means the series will wrap up after the first chunk of DLC for Sword and Shield has been released. Perhaps the series will provide an early look at the Isle of Armor, the Crown Tundra, or the new Pokemon being introduced in the expansions.