When it comes to Pokemon, the Pokemon XY anime is a clear winner. In reviews and online audience rankings, the series frequently shows up at the top, or at least near the top.

In my Where to Watch Pokemon article, I briefly touched upon some of the reasons for XY’s popularity.

For one thing, Pokemon XY introduces Serena — a rarity in the Pokemon world for being an actual love interest for Ash, as opposed to just a traveling companion.

If you’re wondering how romance fits into a Pokemon series, XY does take place in Kalos, the Pokemon equivalent to France.

Table of Contents

  1. Pokemon XY Basics
  2. Plot
  3. Serena
  4. Setting
  5. Music
  6. Voice Acting
  7. Merch
  8. Where to Watch
  9. Final Verdict

Pokemon XY Basics

A scene from Pokemon XYZ, as shown at Netflix Hong Kong - Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ Game Freak Inc.

Pokemon XY is based upon Pokemon X and Y, the main Generation VI version of the Pokemon games. 

The series consists of three seasons — Pokemon the Series: XYXY Kalos Quest, and XYZ. Collectively, these are seasons 17 through 19 of the overall Pokemon anime franchise. The series ran from 2013 to 2016 in Japan.

Like every Pokemon series until Pokemon Horizons in 2023, Pokemon XY features determined and enthusiastic Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum.  


A scene from Pokemon XY, as shown at Netflix Hong Kong - Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ Game Freak Inc.

In many ways, Pokemon XY follows a well-worn and dependable Pokemon storyline. Indeed, older fans may find that the reliable formula fits like a favorite pair of jeans.

After many seasons, Ash seems a tad more mature than before, which is a huge improvement over some seasons. However, he’s not too mature for the franchise’s typical slapstick “twerp” goofiness.  

This time around, his goal is the Kalos League championship, a.k.a. the Lumiose Conference. 

Ash is joined in his quest by fun new companions — Serena; the inventor/ gym leader Clemont; and Clemont’s spunky little sister, Bonnie. For better or for worse, this is typical Pokemon stuff. 

Team Rocket also follows Ash to Kalos, although they aren’t the main antagonists this time. 

The real conflict comes from Team Flare. However, these villains don’t fully execute their nefarious plans until after the league championship.


Serena in Pokemon XY, as shown at Netflix Hong Kong - Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ Game Freak Inc.

Prior to the beginning of the series, Ash helped Serena out at camp once, and she’s had a crush on him ever since.  

When the two re-connect, the series drops some subtle hints that maybe Ash might feel the same way. But unfortunately for her, he’s way too oblivious most of the time. XY isn’t a romantic comedy, but by kid-friendly Pokemon standards, it’s very sweet.

In any case, Serena soon becomes a valuable part of the team. She also branches out on her own with a new competition, the Pokemon Showcase.

Serena helps to keep the series fresh. Her personality is a lot less snarky than Misty was. And the XYZ conclusion should satisfy Ash/ Serena shippers. 

Pokemon XY Setting

Lumiose City, the Pokemon version of Paris, in Pokemon XY, at the Pokemon Channel on YouTube - Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ Game Freak Inc.

If you like France, you might enjoy Kalos, which is based upon a Japanese Francophile’s idea of a Pokemon-influenced France. 

The series features Haussmann-esque buildings in Lumiose City (Paris), a palace based on Versailles, and a Battle Chateau, complete with noble titles. 

The series replaces the Eiffel Tower with a high-tech Pokemon equivalent called the Prism Tower. Even the name “Lumiose City” probably references Paris’ “City of Light” nickname.


Over the years, Pokemon has produced some hard-rocking theme songs, and XY is no exception.

The first English language XY theme covers the iconic “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” (Previous seasons used different themes.) The Kalos Quest theme, “Be A Hero,” is pretty good, too; but “Stand Tall,” the XYZ theme, is better.

Adding to Kalos’ French influence, you can hear faint traces of French musical themes in some of the background music.

Voice Acting

Serena, Ash, and Pikachu in a scene from Pokemon XY, as shown at Netflix Hong Kong - Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ Game Freak Inc.

In the original series, Ash was voiced by Veronica Taylor. By the time XY came around, Sarah Natochenny had taken over the role.

Natochenny’s voice for Ash is not quite the same, but it’s close enough. If you don’t pay attention (or if it’s been a while since you watched the early seasons), you might not notice the differences. 

Clemont is voiced by Michael Liscio, Jr., who also did multiple voices for Yu-Gi-Oh!  Bonnie’s voice actor, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld, had previously appeared as Nurse Joy and others, and would continue to provide Pokemon voices after XY.

Haven Burton Paschall plays Serena. You can also hear her as Bloom from Winx Club.

Pokemon XY Anime Merch

A lot of Pokemon merch is not specifically geared to any one series. But we found some stuff for the Pokemon XY fan:

1. Serena cosplay outfit, Amazon

Serena (Pokemon) cosplay outfit at Amazon

If you want to cosplay Serena, Amazon has her memorable outfits.

2. Serena shirt, Pokemon Center

Serena shirt at the Pokemon Center

If a T-shirt is more your style, the Pokemon Center has this one featuring Serena.

3. Serena keychain, eBay

Serena (Pokemon) keychain at eBay

eBay has a lot of figurines, including this keychain.

Where to Watch Pokemon XY Anime

If you want full details, check out JapanBound’s article. Or keep reading for the abridged version:

Netflix (Hong Kong)

Pokemon XY at Netflix Hong Kong

Netflix Hong Kong has the series. If you’re not in Hong Kong, you’ll need a good VPN, such as NordVPN, to watch Pokemon XY.

How to Watch Pokemon XY on Netflix via VPN

This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.

  1. Purchase (or start a free trial) of a VPN. I can confirm that NordVPN works for this purpose.
  2. In the settings, choose Hong Kong as your location.
  3. Fire up the VPN and wait for it to do its magic
  4. Once you’re connected, navigate to Netflix (browser or app)
  5. Search “Pokemon XY” in the Netflix search bar and you should see the anime pop up.

NordVPN banner (Nord VPN)

Enjoy! Please note that if your Netflix library doesn’t update to reflect the country you selected in your VPN, you may have to clear the Netflix cache first and try again.

To do this on mobile, go to settings -> apps -> Netflix -> clear cache. To do this on PC, you have to clear the cache in your web browser.

I’ve had no trouble using this method and I still use NordVPN to watch anime from various Netflix country libraries daily.

Pokemon XY Anime Review, Final Verdict: 7.5/10

Serena, Pokemon XYZ at Netflix, Nintendo/ Creatures Inc. /Game Freak inc.

To be frank, no Pokemon series is ever going to have an intricate plot, or a mature and jaded seinen worldview.  But that’s not why you watch Pokemon, is it?

XY has everything that you would want from a Pokemon series. Beyond that, the setting is interesting, and the animation is good. And the addition of Serena adds a lot to the series.

I hope this Pokemon XY anime review makes it clear why it’s one of the better Pokemon series. If you’re a Pokemon fan, but you haven’t seen it yet, I would recommend it.

Leave a Reply