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Starter Squad

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Starter Squad
StarterSquadPic.jpg
"Don't care. You don't have a choice."
-Charmander
Genre: Comedy
Action
Running Time: 2-28 Minutes (Longer every episode)
Country: United States
Release Date: Episode 1
July 13, 2013
Episode 2
June 4, 2014
Episode 3
June 4, 2014
Episode 4
September 1, 2014
Episode 5
July 18, 2015
Episode 6
November 21, 2015
Episode 7
December 25, 2016
Episode 8
October 31, 2017
Episode 9
September 21, 2019
Episode 10
October 23, 2021
Episode 11
TBA
Episode 12
TBA
Network(s): YouTube
Newgrounds
Created by: Pierce Shipp
Distributed by: YouTube
Starring: Pierce Shipp
Dreux Ferrano Jr.
Connor O'Brien
Jill Harris
Marissa Lenti
Mick Lauer
Nathan Sharp
Lyle Burress
Arón Keyser
Jane Redd
Edwyn Tiong
Matt Vargas
Reagen Murdock
Dave Capdevielle
David Dixon
Chris Niosi
Tiana Camacho
River Kanoff
Jordan Bonn
Dane Powroznik
Jeffrey Hunt
Greg Hoffman
Ed Atlin
Jess Floam
CJCameron
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 10 (2 Unfinished)


Starter Squad is an animated web series based on the popular franchise Pokémon made by Pierce Shipp. It's meant to be a 12 episode series, according to the creator himself.

Episodes 1-8 were all made with Source Film Maker, while Episodes 9-10 were made with Blender.

Summary

The focus of the series is the titular and iconic Starter Pokemon of the Kanto Region of the Pokemon franchise, following their adventures in their quest to evolve and become the strongest Pokémon of all time. Along their way they make enemies, develop genuine friendship, and even come face-to-face with forces that will change their world forever.

Why It Rocks

  1. The animation is very good for Source Film Maker (Episodes 1-8) and Blender (Episodes 9-10) standards, which improved over time in the series including better lighting, lip-syncing, and facial animations.
    • The scene in Episode 9, where Charmander fights a bunch of Caterpies is awesome!
  2. Unlike most web series, the creator does not rush the series out and instead takes time to make it, this could be the reason why it only has 10 episodes despite being made in 2013, similarly to Quantic Dream with their video games.
    • Episode 9 alone took around 2-3 Years to make, it started development since 2017 and released in 2019.
    • Episode 10 took around 2-3 Years to make, it started development since 2019. It got released on October 23, 2021.
    • Episode 11 started in development in 2021. It is currently in the animation stage, it may release in 2023.
  3. The concept of Pokémon talking in their point of view is pretty interesting.
  4. Many of the characters are very well written.
    • Charmander while hot-tempered is a decent protagonist voiced by the creator of the series, however he has many flaws in his character.
    • Leader Caterpie is a great antagonist of the series during Episode 4, it wanted revenge on Charmander for killing it's brother Pablo after cheating in a Pokemon Battle. (Although unlikable in Episodes 7-10, mostly 10 as all it really did was use Pokemon for war.)
    • Squirtle/Wartortle is a good secondary protagonist, while he doesn't like to get bossed around. He later trained with the Leader Caterpie to defend himself. He later became a protagonist in Episode 10.
  5. Amazing soundtrack for the series taken from the Pokémon games. With later episodes using fully original composed music later on.
    • The original song made for the series "Rock Smasher" is also great.
  6. It had many great episodes such as "The Lizard Slayer" "Ooo Look At Me I'm A Big Scary Ghost" "Fight Fire With Fire", and "The Legend of Blue Shell Man Guy".
  7. Amazing voice acting from Pierce Shipp himself, Jill Harris (Caterpie), who would later voice Charlie in Hazbin Hotel, Mick Lauer (Hitmonchan, who would later dub the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind anime as Leone Abbacchio), Marissa Lenti (Whiskers, who voiced Moze in Borderlands 3), Nathan Sharp (Pidgeotto, who did many voice acting for video games) and Dreux Ferrano Jr. Many of the voice actors are even veterans due to voice acting for so long, this can be proven on their IMDB pages.
    • Many fan-dubs exist of the series, which many of them are also good.
  8. It could promote empathy.

Bad Qualities

  1. The Humans are very annoying in the series as the only words they say is the word "Human" over and over again, possibly due to the series being centered around the Pokemon instead of the humans.
  2. There are some times where Charmander could be mean-spirited or dumb.
    1. Killing Pablo, in Episode 2 just for XP to level up. In which resulted in Leader Caterpie trying to kill him.
    2. Wasting the Antidote on Bulbasaur in Episode 7, when Bulbasaur was perfectly fine.
  3. Some unlikable characters.
    • Leader Caterpie (Episodes 7-10): Mainly for breaking the promise with Squirtle to keep Charmander alive, and using Squirtle and Whiskers for war.
    • Chimchar: Meant as a replacement for Charmander in Episode 10, having similar character traits. They are both hot-headed murderers who only care about evolving (Although Charmander later on got character development in Episode 8), unsurprisingly he didn't last long.

Reception

The series got positive reception from viewers, it currently has a 8.7/10 Rating on IMDB.

Episode 10 went on YouTube trending after a few hours it released on YouTube, making it the first episode to get viral.

Trivia

Note some of the Trivia contains spoilers.

  • Early Development of Episode 10 was leaked online on Pierce Shipp's Twitch account and then uploaded to YouTube by Bulbasaur Starter Squad - Alek, it features early animation and Squirtle is shown to evolve. All of the voice acting was already finished, and the animation is still being made. According to Pierce Shipp on his Discord Server, Episode 10 will get released in October 23, 2021 (which already did).
  • Many of the Cave artwork from Episode 9 was done by a Twitter user named @PrimatePunk[1]
  • Originally Starter Squad was going to be not labeled Starter Squad, due to Shippiddge not expecting it to be popular. Once it blew up, it was turned into a 12 episode series in 2015.
    • In fact back in 2013, Episode 1 was originally called "Choose A Starter! [Pokemon SFM]" and it didn't have the Starter Squad title.

References

Comments

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