While many fans of the Pokémon series have likely watched the animated TV show starring Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu as they travel from region to region, fewer may have seen the short series Twilight Wings, which aired on the Offical YouTube Pokémon Channel last year. Twilight Wings isn’t the first short series the Pokémon franchise has released, either. A similar set of episodes called Generations aired in 2016. Both series are made up of episodes between four and eight minutes long, and focus on characters many fans may recognize from the game series instead of Ash and his friends.
The Twilight Wings animated shorts are set in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Galar region. Each episode focuses on a different character as they handle a personal hurdle. All of the episodes are tied together by a recurring character, a taxi-cab driver and his Corviknight. What makes Twilight Wings special in comparison to the primary animated series is its focus on the Pokémon world players know from the games. The Pokémon animated TV series and the Pokémon main game series have always existed in two different worlds, with different rules and world-building in each iteration, but Twilight Wings bridges the gap, giving fans of the game series a special look at Galar in an animated format.
The animation style and quality of Twilight Wings are better than the Pokémon TV show, more similar to what fans might see in the Pokémon feature films like I Choose You, with carefully-drawn backgrounds and character designs similar to the Sword and Shield game art. While not as stylized as Generations, the crisp animation makes for a pleasant viewing experience and gives fans a chance to see Galar in a different way than is possible in the 3D-modeled style of Sword and Shield’s gameplay.
Pokémon Twilight Wings Could Distract From The Main Animated Series
Despite how popular Generations and Twilight Wings have become, with millions of views for every episode of each mini-series on the Pokémon YouTube channel, it is unlikely the shorts will ever become full-length Pokémon animated shows. While a series following the well-liked characters from a specific region would likely appeal to many fans of the Pokémon games, the Pokémon animated TV show is designed to be enjoyable even for those who haven’t played the titles. It is likely the franchise will continue to focus on Ash, who has been the mascot of the TV series for decades, to ensure the show continues to do well, rather than take a risk on a new full-length animated series that may only do well with a select group of fans.
While this is disappointing for those who have enjoyed the animated shorts, it is possible that more mini-series-style episodes could potentially come to the Pokémon franchise’s YouTube channel in the future. While it uncertain when this may happen, or what region these episodes could focus on, the likelihood is encouraged by the addition of Twilight Wings after Generations concluded. If Generations had done poorly, it is unlikely the Pokémon series could have added another set of shorts. Hopefully, this means fans will have more episodes to look forward to at some point in the future.