Pokemon has long featured its iconic monsters battling at the request of their trainers, but Adi Shankar, a producer at Netflix behind Castlevania and the upcoming Assassin’s Creed anime, gave a grittier take on Ash Ketchum’s famous world.
Shankar has created some of the internet’s more favorite alternate storylines featuring popular franchises. Called his “Bootleg Universe,” the Netflix producer is credited in film shorts revolving around properties like Power Rangers, Judge Dredd, and Punisher, among others.
The short films he produces typically deliver on storylines or aspects of a beloved franchise that fans wish were more explored in the official universe but that have no chance of ever releasing.
In a June 19 release titled “The End of Pokemon,” audiences meet up with an older Ash whose Pikachu has recently died. Torn from the loss of his best friend, Ash embarks on a new journey to end the “mindless entertainment” that are Pokemon battles.
To do this, he starts a revolution to “Free them all” that sees him going to incredible lengths to create a rebellion against the “spectacle of violence” that took away his longtime pal.
The fan trailer contains some of the darkest imagery in Pokemon creations, especially since it paints a horrid perspective on the good-natured games that people have been playing since the mid-90’s.
But the story in the trailer expands on the morality behind catching ‘em all and shows how gruesome basic Pokemon fights really are through bloody as well ferocious battles laced throughout the video.
This is definitely one of the more epic portraits Pokemon has ever been given. While some might hope for an official full featured version that this trailer deserves, it might be a while before Nintendo ever let that happen to their beloved franchise.
Some of the more popular iterations in the Bootleg Universe include a dark “what if” story for Mr Rogers and origins of his famous characters from his show.
But one short that sent the internet into a frenzy was the release of Power/Rangers that showed the Rangers being hunted down after one of their own unexpectedly betrays them.
While there are excellent pieces of fiction in Shankar’s Bootleg Universe, it seems like fans are loving the latest Pokemon release more than previous reimaginings.