Let's talk opening themes for a minute. Anyone who was between the ages of nine and twelve in the late 1990s probably gets hit with an instant nostalgia bomb when they hear the words "I want to be the very best, like no one ever was..." For most folks, "Pokémon Theme" (gosh, what a clever title) is the be-all end-all theme song to this show. And for most of my tenure as a Pokémon fan, I thought it was awesome too.
Then I laid ears on "Mesaze Pokémon Master", the first Japanese theme. And I don't know about you, but that song does a way better job of letting its audience know that they're in for an adventure. It's faster, more energetic, and the visuals are stronger. Plus, it tells you much more about the show than the American version does - it's actually performed by Satoshi and sung from his perspective, while the American theme sounds more like a commercial. (Yeah, I know the whole show is essentially a commercial, but at least it's not terribly overt about it.) By putting Satoshi's face on the lyrics, you really get the sense that this is his journey, and there's a real story to be told.
And when it boils down to it, Matsumoto Rica is just a much better singer than Jason Paige. Matsumoto puts all the emotion and excitement of the character into her performance; Paige just sounds like the frontman for some cheesy '80s hair metal band.