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Song of the Week #3 – “Mezase Pokémon Master”

This week’s music track: “Mezase Pokémon Master” from the Pokémon anime!

When you ask most English-speaking Pokémon fans what the first theme from the Pokémon TV show, they’ll likely tell you it’s this theme.  In fact, the original Pokémon theme song from the very first season of the English dub not only remains one of the most memorable themes in the series for long-time fans, but still holds up on its own as one of the most popular TV theme songs of all time.

But in Japan, where the franchise was born, their first theme song went a little something like this:

Mezase Pokémon Master, which translates to “Aim to be a Pokémon Master,” was the theme that helped kick-start a TV series that continues to run 19 seasons later.  It’s also the first song in the series sung by Rica Matsumoto, who not only provides the voice of Satoshi (Ash Ketchum‘s Japanese counterpart) but also continues to bring new vocal songs to the series every now and then, even up to most recent season in Japan.

It’s a catchy song that’s indicative of the era it came from, especially when heard alongside other anime openings from the time.  And while every Japanese TV opening gets replaced with a new song for the English dub, Mezase Pokémon Master is one of those rare songs that still managed to find its way to Western shores – though in a way nobody expected!

Believe it or not, a rendition of Mezase Pokémon Maseter can be heard in the original Pokémon Pinball for Game Boy Color!  When trying to catch or evolve Pokémon on the Blue Field, you’ll get get this theme.  Listen to this version and compare it to the original TV vocal version, and you’ll be able to hear the similarities.

Tune in every Friday for a new installment of Song of the Week, where we listen to songs and tunes spanning all mediums from the world of Pokémon!