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Why Pokemon: Sun & Moon Stood Out So Much To Anime Fans

If you're a '90s kid, you more than likely grew up playing and watching "Pokémon." What started out as a Japanese Game Boy title released in 1996 has grown into a worldwide phenomenon complete with an anime series, several movies, a card game, and more. The anime "Pokemon" series, in particular, is so well-loved around the world that it's been dubbed the most successful adaptation of a video game ever with over 1,000 episodes to date.

As in the video games, the TV anime follows Ash in his journey to becoming a Pokémon Master alongside his trusty sidekick Pikachu. Typically, each game sees Ash battle his way through a new unexplored region, and with every new game's release, a new leg of the anime follows soon after. While the series generally follows Ash's overarching quest to become a master, each season has a few differences such as new Pokémon, friends, and villains. However, "Pokémon: Sun & Moon" sees the greatest departure from the franchise's typical style. In "Sun & Moon," Ash and Pikachu head to the sunny region of Alola where Ash attends Pokémon school, meets fellow trainers, and, of course, challenges new Pokémon. According to fans, this series has a glaring difference from its predecessors.

Fans enjoy Pokemon: Sun & Moon as a slice-of-life anime

Several fans couldn't help but notice that "Pokémon: Sun & Moon" is a much less action-packed story compared to other seasons. In fact, many think "Sun & Moon" ties more closely to slice-of-life anime, whereas before it may have been considered shonen or kodomomuke (depending on your interpretation of anime genres). But at least fans seem to like the new tone.

In a Reddit thread discussing the decline of "Pokémon," Redditors rushed to the defense of "Sun & Moon." User u/amongus-sussy-baka admitted, "Honestly, I really liked the slice of life approach to sm." Additionally, u/nmiller1939 thought the genre shift improved the show and wrote, "Sticking Shonen trope protagonist Ash into a slice of life series was a great way to make Ash a more interesting character." Meanwhile, u/pincheARCEUS enjoyed the change of style and wrote, "Mostly, I enjoyed the slice of life feel that the series had." Redditor u/LolinatorX went so far as to write that "Sun & Moon" is what got them enjoying anime again and added, "Sun and Moon felt like a chill, and smart approach to another Ash and Pikachu adventure."

Fans will surely notice not only the shift in tone but also the different animation style of "Sun & Moon." The softer, rounded "kiddish" look of "Sun & Moon" may seem aimed at children, but the new style gave animators the freedom to create a wider range of comical expressions, per Anime News Network. With an art style that allows for more movement and exaggerated expressions, it makes sense that "Sun & Moon" takes on a more lighthearted approach than its predecessors.